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Cuba and the dilemma of modern agriculture


Having lost 73% of its purchasing power and 42% of it gross national product since the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba faces a crisis with the modern agricultural system it had developed over the past 30 years. The response has been to put an alternative model into practice. The successes and problems associated with this model are discussed.

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John Vandermeer is a professor of biology at the University of Michigan. He has been involved in research on agricultural systems for the past two decades, concentrating his work in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and southern Mexico. His most recent books areThe Ecology of Intercropping (Cambridge) andAgroecology, coedited with Carroll and Rosset. His current research is in the lowland rainforests of Nicaragua where he is studying forest successional patterns following the catastrophic damage done by Hurricane Joan.

Judith Carney is an assistant professor of Geography at the University of California Los Angeles. She conducts research on environment and development issues in the third world. Fieldwork in West Africa resulted in the publication of numerous articles on gender issues in agrarian change, environmental consequences of wetland transformations, and indigenous rice farming systems. More recently her research has extended to the Americas where she is examining the transfer of West African agricultural knowledge systems during the African Diaspora.

Paul L. Gersper is Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management (Soil Science), and Director, International Visitors Program, College of Natural Resources, University of California at Berkeley. His research and teaching have focused on sustainable agriculture and rural development, emphasizing soil resource evaluation and utilization of organic amendments, following many years of focusing on soil-plant interactions in natural ecosystems.

Ivette Perfecto is assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Michigan. She is currently engaged in a study of the ecological consequences of the transformation of the coffee agroecosystem in Costa Rica.

Peter Rosset is the Executive Director of the Institute for Food and Development Policy in San Francisco, California. He has conducted extensive research in integrated pest management in Central America through his previous work with Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza

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Vandermeer, J., Carney, J., Gersper, P. et al. Cuba and the dilemma of modern agriculture. Agric Hum Values 10, 3–8 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02217832

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  • Alternative Model
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Agricultural System
  • Agricultural Economic
  • National Product