Sunday, December 10, 2023

Land maintenance and animal husbandry in Cuba

People know what it means to eat to continue to reproduce life. With a full stomach you can think, inspire, and create. Food is important, it is what motivates us to continue. Under this premise, some people continue to dream.

Carlos Eliseo Garrido is another one of those who, like Héctor, woke up early dreaming of continuing life on his farm in La Valeriana about 20 kilometers east of Havana.

“I am a little less than 100,” said Eliseo, who did not know his exact age but was about 95 years old. 90 recess and their hopes.

“I’m milking eight cows right now,” he said. And although 20 years ago a dog bit his right arm and he was never able to use it, Eliseo did not care about death in life, and made a face. He doesn’t believe in excuses when it comes to producing.

Eliseo Garrido is part of the Emiliano Montes de Oca credit and services cooperative, one of the forms of non-state management that concentrates almost 85 percent of the dairy cows on the Island.

Cuba has reached a high level of specialization in livestock farming with the development of even a breed specific to the tropics, large milk producers.

But the livestock sector is now one of the most depressed among the severe economic crisis in the country. From 2017 to 2021 alone, total milk production in the state and non-state sectors fell by nearly 30 percent.

Among these conditions, Eliseo is one of the ranches that produce the most milk in the province of Havana.

With an annual production plan of 27,000 liters of milk, this cooperative delivers between 120 and 130 liters per day, mostly to maternity homes, hospitals and day care centers.

When asked how he did it?, he jokingly confessed: “It’s not a secret to me.”

¨The blockade (of the United States) is not to blame. All you have to do is take care of the cows and grow food for them.

Eliseo looked around to reconfirm his thesis: “Look, that’s a dairy that produces 500 liters of milk. Now he gets nothing. Below we have another, whose owner took 400 or 500 liters of milk. Now it is a micro dairy. And that one, if it reaches 100 liters, it’s a lot, because the cows are not taken care of. So no milk. But if the pace is continued, not to lose the lands and take care of the livestock, there will be no shortage of milk.

The history, wisdom, dedication and love that Eliseo passed on to those around him reached his son Félix Garrido (Felo), who assured that everything he knew was taught to him by his father.

Felo said he would not change the clean air, the peace and the milk from the cows on his farm for anything in the world.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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