A year ago, the life of Arsenio Pérez Escalona, a young man from the municipality of Puerto Padre, who gave up his professional achievements as a university graduate and asked for usufruct land, changed.
Since then, he hasn’t stopped working to make the place what he dreams of. And that means waking up early in the morning and spending the day in the sun, dirty with sweat and dust but determined to make the most of the soil, which is fortunately fertile.
“I have a total area of 25 hectares and 18 of them have an irrigation system. These are divided into four quadrants. One is planted with plantains and the other with corn. The remaining two are now planted with pumpkin and corn banana.
“I took them a year ago because they were unused and full of marabou and other weeds. With a lot of effort, we dismantled everything, and they are now in good condition. Nothing has been harvested here yet. But I’m sure it will give good results.”
Among the many difficulties farmers are currently facing are the lack of nutrients and pesticides, as well as the severe drought that plagues the Las Vegas area year after year. Facing these and other problems, this young man is determined to excel.
“The irrigation machine responds to a project where the water came from the river. But there were many months without rain, and this possibility was compromised. As an alternative, I decided to build two wells and a well to pump the liquid around and guarantee the moisture of the plants.
“As far as the ground is concerned, it is very good. However, we need to maintain and improve it, as it has not been farmed for a long time. I rely on organic products and organic materials. I want to make a worm.” I have a farm for humus production and already have a team of oxen to take care of the plantations.
Arsenio has no academic training in agronomy. However, he knows a little about farm work from family experience, as he is the grandson of farmers. He also has a great desire to learn, and he does this with the help of a good friend who is his strong arm in tending to the crops.
“It’s tough. This is where problems arise that I solve little by little, without fear of failure. At first, my family and friends didn’t want it because I was moving away from what I had studied. They even told me it was crazy because it’s a big area. But I’m strapped in and have a lot of will.