Modes of Urban Agriculture in Cuba

The heterogeneity of the conditions through the whole country, next to the diversity of the possibilities to obtain the agricultural production, has allowed the development of modes where cultivations and animals are integrated. The most extended in Cuba are:

  • Organopónicos and intensive orchards
  • Landplots and popular orchards
  • Protected cultivations and home agriculture.

Organopónicos and intensive orchards

These are the most outstanding modes in the last years, contributing today in an excellent way to the rescue of our horticultural wealth. The organopónicos and intensive orchards are an example of how scientists and producers should work together.

The organopónicos are developed in areas with unfertile lands, obstacles for their usage or artificial surfaces. The cultivation areas are divided by lateral walls built on several materials, which are stuffed with a substratum mixed with organic matter and the soil on which the cultivations grow.

The intensive orchards are developed in fertile land areas in situ without using supports or lateral walls; the organic matter is applied directly to the soil during the labour process.

Landplots and popular orchards

Landplots and popular orchards are the most popularized mode having in mind its high number of participants. As rule, the area that assists the producer is small and it’s subject to as much useful space exists between constructions and streets, or in large yards with available area for agricultural production. In general, the landplots, yards and popular orchards are located in the outlying areas of the cities and have bigger surface that those placed in the central urban area.

The food production in landplots, yards and popular orchards reaches an important level in the family and regional supply, bringing a production higher than the provided by organopónicos and intensive orchards on the whole. The use of these spaces provides a great support to the urban population's feeding, as well as the enhancement of the urban environment since its contributes to the elimination of urban waste-yards.

Protected cultivations and home agriculture

These two modes are in initial phase of development. The protected cultivations understand the use of “covered houses” of Spanish, Israeli and/or Cuban technology, to obtain agricultural products and postures, where technological adjustments are being developed to adapt it to our conditions. This technology allows the cultivation of vegetables during the whole year, especially during the warmest months and more intense sun.

The home agriculture put together the use of the most varied productive possibilities such as, cultivations in recipients with substratum and solutions, and others using minimum substratum on reduced spaces, balconies, roofs, etc.