Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

-DATE-
19641209
-YEAR-
1964
-DOCUMENT_TYPE-
SPEECH
-AUTHOR-
F. CASTRO
-HEADLINE-
INAUGURATES VOISIN
-PLACE-
MEDICAL ASSOCIATION BUILDING IN HAVANA
-SOURCE-
HAVANA DOMESTIC RADIO
-REPORT_NBR-
FBIS
-REPORT_DATE-
19641210
-TEXT-
CASTRO SPEECH INAUGURATES VOISIN LECTURES

Havana Domestic Radio and Television Service in Spanish 0245 GMT 9 December
1964--F/E

(Live speech at Medical Association Building in Havana)

(Text) Comrades: I come to this rostrum still deeply impressed by the
amiable and eloquent words of Professor Voisin about his impressions of our
country. Moreover, I am overwhelmed by the very generous things he has said
about me. Tonight the cycle of lectures by Professor Voisin will be
inaugurated--at least I have learned to pronounce his name will in French
(laughter). Some comrades say "Voyseen." I believe it is "Vwasan." Soon we
will all be familiar with the name. What I mean is that the cycle of
lectures will be inaugurated tonight although the lecturers themselves will
not start until tomorrow. Here the roles are going to be somewhat reversed.
Professor Voisin expressed his difficulty in speaking at the ceremony of an
official character--at a reception--and he said that he was worried and
that of course he was not going to speak about politics because when
scientists speak of politics the run the risk of saying many absurdities.
Now place yourself in my shoes (laughter). I, who am a politician--what
risks will I not encounter if I begin to speak on scientific matters! It is
certain that the chances of a scientist making a mistake when judging
political matters are much less than those of a politician who sets about
making judgments of a scientific nature.

Professor Voisin will begin to speak on the scientific field tomorrow.
However, today we want to make some comments on the interest his works and
his visit have for us, and at the same time consider the usefulness of his
work for us--indeed, not in the scientific field, because that would be
completely presumptuous on my part--but rather as a citizen who is
concerned with the problems of his country, the problems of the people. We
can say that scientists and revolutionaries share a point of view, because
it can be said to begin with that every scientist is a revolutionary. What
we have to achieve is to make every revolutionary a scientist.

Another point of similarity between the sentiments of Professor Voisin and
us is the human dimension he gives to science. In all his books, all his
works, one can see that the human factor-man, human health, human
happiness--is the basic objective of the works of Professor Voisin. Truly,
man, human happiness, must be the essential objective of all
revolutionaries. The works of Voisin have a very great interest for us. In
the first place, I want to explain how these works came to be known to us.

It is not something extraordinary. All of us have for some time become more
aware daily of the need to develop technology. We become more aware daily
of the importance that technology and science have in the present world.

It may be said that the revolution needs science and it is clear that it
was not unlikely that the works of Professor Voisin would arouse great
interest in us from the first book we had a chance to read. Personally the
first book that fell into my hands was "Dynamics of Pastures." At that time
I was acquiring an every increasing interest in the problems of
livestock--feeding of cattle--and the book attracted my attention by its
suggestive title. We had a number of problems of an economic character
related to the production of mil and meat, a problem of an economic
character related to the feeding of cattle--among other things, the
expenditures that this country had to make annually to satisfy those needs.
Really, our milk production was based on the experience of countries that
have a climate different from ours and that have different production
conditions.

However, that was the technology we were using--the little technology we
employed on this matter--in questions of the production of milk above all,
because it is known that meat here was produced extensively in large
ranches. So we were presented with the need to resolve a problem. Every
time the solving of the problem of more milk was mentioned, the figures for
more feed always emerged. And along with the figures for more feed, there
emerged the figure for more reserves with which to acquire that fodder and
resolve the milk problem.

There was even competition between the different plans and the different
needs of the country. To tell the truth, the first time that I began to try
to find a solution to this problem, I was also thinking of feed, but I was
thinking of a feed solution on a national basis, that is to say, to produce
here all the raw materials imported for the production of milk. I began to
organize a small farm, part of which was devoted to legumes. I did not yet
know what legumes were or which one was going to be adapted to conditions
of our climate. I was thinking of the possibility of a type of alfalfa.
Later, there was the idea of also planting some plots of corn in rotation
with soybeans.

I began to make estimates. I made estimates for several days and was
planning high (production?) of milk. On one occasion I though of estimating
how much mil would be obtained per pound of corn and how much per pound of
soybeans and what part of that area would be devoted to corn and how much
to soybeans, that is to say, to grain. In making the estimates I saw the
amount of protein contained in a pound of soybeans and and the amount
contained in a pound of corn, and the amount of soybeans and corn to be
produced in those hectares, assuming that all the crops would grow
perfectly well and production would be optimum. Moreover, I saw that the
corn and the soybeans, which covered approximately one-third of the area,
would produce approximately one-eighth to one-tenth of the milk. I asked
myself where this milk was coming from, and I realized that the milk would
come largely from the pasturage. I realized that the areas devoted to grass
would, with normal yields, produce much more milk that the areas devoted to
grains, presupposing optimum yields. Not only that: the area devoted to
grass would produce much cheaper milk because the other crops had to be
sown twice a year every year and pastures would be sown only once.

That was how I acquired an extraordinary interest in the importance of
pasturage and in making some tests with pastures. That is why the book
"Dynamics of Pastures" came into my hands--I was interested. I will tell
you the truth: contrary to what I though when I opened that book--that I
was going to find great help--I initially experienced just the opposite.
That book created a great number of concerns for me because for the first
time I found myself confronted with a phenomenon which we had occasionally
heard referred to by the peasants--the phenomenon of land poverty, of the
years of poverty in pastures. This is apart from the fact that the first
time I read the book I did not understand it very well, which was logical
because the book was the third in a series of related books written by
Professor Voisin. If I had read the first two books previously,
understanding this book would have been easier.

Nevertheless, that book opened my eyes to a series of problems that had
never even entered my mind. I would say that those problems were,
essentially, three. Of course, the one that made the greatest impression on
me was the problem of the years of poverty in pastures, the fact that when
the land is planted and a new grass is sown, the soil is very productive
for the first years, but productivity begins to decrease between the third
and fourth years and finally there is a long period of time in which
productivity remains at 50 percent of the productivity of the first two or
three years.

That book defended the idea of the system of permanent pastures. I could
not clearly understand that concept of permanent pastures. The book
contained a broad explanation of an entire series of tests made, in which
one could see the enormous advantage of permanent pastures over temporary
pastures. The very concept of permanent and temporary pastures was not too
clear to me at first. I confused the idea of natural pastures a bit with
that permanent ones, and thought, we will have our problems anyway because
we have many tracts of land covered with marabu (the weed dicgrostachys
nutans, indigenous to Cuba--ed.), which we cannot count on, but which must
be planted anyway. It was somewhat later that I understood the concept of
permanent pastures, which does not mean natural pastures, although the
permanent pastures are natural pastures, that is, areas where pastures have
always existed. But the concept of permanent pastures does not necessarily
stem from natural pastures. The concept of permanent pastures deals simply
with the system of the exploitation of soil: whether the soil is or is not
plowed, whether the pastures are plowed to grow other crops and returned to
use as pastures again, or whether they are not plowed for agriculture in
general--cultivated.

That is to say, permanent pasture is simply the parcel of land which, once
it is established as a pasture in a temporary manner or because it was
planted, is exploited and not again plowed. Thus a pasture can be sowed,
and this pasture can be maintained all the time, which is necessary under
these conditions and according to the method of exploitation being carried
out. None of the ideas which I started to acquire about any of these
things--if the simple things and not the complicated--all of these things
were very related. That is to say, the idea of permanent pasture is related
to the system of exploitation. However, at last I began to understand what
this concept meant, and essentially it was simply not to plow the pastures,
not to resow the pastures.

And this is where we find in essence one of the fundamental theories of
Professor Voisin. It is that he is a decided partisan of permanent pastures
rather than temporary pastures. Naturally, he defends this thesis with a
vast quantity of material--experiences--and with a great abundance of data
and arguments. One of these essential ideas is related to the microorganism
of the earth, with the microfauna of the earth. Moreover, this very thing
presents other problems and other views of agriculture in general, and
especially those concerning pastures, of which there were practically no
reports, and which was of special interest for agriculture.

The reasons for the years of poverty in pastures is explained by Professor
Voisin precisely in the relation of microfauna to the soil. What is this
idea? It is that in permanent pastures ideal conditions of life are
established for microorganisms and in general for the microfauna of the
soil--to distinguish the really microscopic organisms from such small
organisms and earthworms and the (enquitrelos--phonetic) in the soil.

What happens when a permanent pasture is plowed according to Voisin's
theory? The conditions of life for those microorganisms or the microfauna
in the soil are changed. In the first years, there is great production
because the organic material and the humus which has accumulated over many
years are exposed to oxidation. Thus, the production of the first years, is
improved, the great production of the first years is enhanced. However,
after these first years have passed, a great part of the organic material
has been used up. The earthworms and organisms in general live during the
first two years because they feed on that organic material. However, when
the third or the fourth year has passed, that microfauna has practically
disappeared, or is considerably reduced.

Professor Voisin points out a whole series of studies made in different
countries which have done research on soil and counted the
microorganisms--the microorganisms that are in the soil--and also the
weight of its microorganisms--all this is very interesting and (word
indistinct). I feel certain that interest will be awakened. In short, it
shows how a considerable lessening of the amount of microorganisms is
produced.

What is the function of these microorganisms? They have a double function,
a physical function and a chemical one. From the physical point of view,
they penetrate the soil and aerate it. Professor Voisin calls them (vital?)
workers. At the same time, they carry out a very important chemical
function. They assimilate many of the mineral elements of the earth,
because they go through the organic material and soil and through their
organ and with there excrement they leave this material, these mineral
elements in a form which can be assimilated by the plants. They carry out a
double function, physical and chemical.

Professor Voisin says that the living creatures which are in the earth
weigh more than the livestock on the pasture when you include the weight of
the microorganisms in the soil. Thus, when the conditions of life in the
soil are changed as a result of plowing, the microfauna diminish
extraordinarily. The microfauna of the earth not only diminish in quantity,
but they also change in quality and consequently this factor, this element,
which carries out the dual physical and chemical function in the soil is
lacking and consequently the ground becomes packed.

You have heard of the packing of the earth, which everyone thought was the
result of the weight of the livestock, but, although the weight of the
livestock can be influential, there is a packing of the earth even where
there are no livestock. The real reason for the packing of the soil--and
this in turn reduces the amount of moisture and oxygen in the soil--is
simply the destruction of the microfauna which takes place with the plowing
of pastures. That is the essential idea for me,and possibly for a large
number of us, if not for all of us, it is an entirely new problem.

Then a number of years take place called "years of poverty," and at the end
of six or seven years, during the eighth, ninth, or tenth year, conditions
for the microfauna slowly begin to be created anew, conditions under which
the microfauna can develop once more, and little by little the problem of
the packing of the soil begins to become less and as a consequence the
following takes place: in permanent pastures production per hectare is
greater than in pastures under rotation The first time that we took
cognizance of this concept, our basic concern was how to resolve the
problem of the years of poverty, for it was a very serious problem that
when an area was planted and produced X amount of pasture, after the first
years the number of head of cattle had to be reduced practically in half.
This was a serious problem. However, the solution to this problem of the
years of poverty did not appear to be easy What Professor Voisin says is
that there are a number of methods or techniques, above all the system of
exploitation of pastures--on this system of exploitation of those pastures
depends on whether those years of poverty will last a longer or shorter
time. Those years of poverty can be shortened, but they cannot really be
avoided. Of course, under our climate conditions, we have the need to find
out the ideal techniques for reducing that period to a minimum, and to
discover how many years, more or less, under our conditions, those years of
poverty would last.

From the time when I first acquired an idea of that problem, most of my
concern has been to do research to try to overcome this problem. I
sincerely believe in and have hope in the special characteristics of our
soil. Since the greater part of research has been done in climates
different from ours--most of the research has been carried out in Europe
and in other countries including New Zealand and Australia, where it
appears there are certain factors of special characteristics--I have hope,
based on the fact that our climatic conditions are different, very much
different, that we will find a solution to those difficulties.

For example, one of the solutions which Professor Voisin points out for the
problem of the years of poverty is the addition of organic material. We
have made some calculations, in the experimental pastures we have, that on
each hectare of those which are in the system of rotating pastures, the
animals deposit some 80 tons of organic material per year. That is
approximately three times as much as is deposited by cattle in Europe.
Therefore, we must investigate to see what the influence of this
extraordinary quantitative increase in organic material added per year per
hectare is on the microfauna of the soil and on the solution of the problem
of the years of poverty.

At any rate, in recent days I had a hope--I could see a factor which gave
me great hope, and that was the day we visited the pastures of Artemisa.
That pasture is eight years old and Professor Voisin said: "These have
already passed though the years of poverty." However, in Europe, at the
eighth year it can be said that the pastures are in the full poverty phase.
What does this mean? Those pastures in Artemisa were even being subjected
to intensive grazing, continuous grazing. What does this mean? That there
exists the possibility, under our conditions and with the system of
rotating pastures, that the period of years of poverty can be reduced
considerably. But this is nothing more than a hope.

However, it is enough to say that we had never thought of these problems,
we had never heard any our technicians speak of them until for the first
time the work of Professor Voisin appeared in Cuban and pointed out two
most important facts: the importance of microfauna in the soil and the
problem of the years of poverty.

That book also points out, covers, and analyzes a number of very important
questions about the evolution of pasture flora, but this would be too long
to discuss here. I simply want to more or less give an idea of how interest
in these problems was aroused in my case--for example, how I began to know
Professor Voisin through his books.

Subsequently I obtained a second book--"The Productivity of Grass." The
book on productivity of grass is something which, from a practical point of
view, is an invaluable contribution for us. It can be said that the study
and application of the subject matter in the book can mean hundreds of
millions of pesos for us every year. I speak of millions of pesos to give
an idea of the economic importance which the application of proper
technology can have to agriculture, because, of course, production can be
tripled with the system contained in the book "The Productivity of Grass."

Now, with that system plus fertilization, the present production of our
pastures can be multiplied by six--by six! There is perhaps no branch of
our agriculture which permits increasing productivity to such a high degree
as do pastures. But the book "The Productivity of Grass" is a book for the
agronomist--it is a book which is a great practical operation, it is a book
whose information can be put to use immediately. Of course, it is a cause
of satisfaction for us to be able to declare here that we have already
experimentally applied the system preached in that book, and the results
are incredible. Suffice it to say that, for example, were that system is
being applied, in December, when the grass everywhere else is pale and the
cattle are practically going hungry, the grass there is as in springtime.
Suffice it to say that on seven caballerias, there are 250 cows. Suffice it
to say that in that dairy, with a single milking, without consuming feed,
and while nursing calves, they have higher production than the other
dairies where the cows are milked twice, where the calves are fed powdered
milk, where the cattle are given feed.

This gives an idea of the importance and the interest this system aroused
in us when we began to concern ourselves in a practical manner with these
matters as a result of the great concern we had for feed and the need to
resolve the problem of milk without making the country's monetary outlay
grow year after year.

The book "The Productivity of Grass" promotes the system of pasturing in
rotation and it makes a truly scientific analysis of the system--and
analysis of all the shortcomings of the system as well. In our country, an
attempt to apply rotating pasturage was being made. It was not something
entirely new. We had heard of it. Various people spoke of rotating
pastures, but when we happened to read that book, we realized where the
essential mistake lay. Curiously enough, the mistake we were making in Cuba
was the same mistake which had been made in practically all parts of the
world. It was the same mistake made in almost all the research centers of
the world. That, precisely, is the essential contribution of Voisin's ideas
to our agricultural technology, because that book showed us what that
mistake was, and it consisted of what is technically called "equal idle
time," which means that during any month of the year, during any season of
the year, the field was permitted to lay fallow for the same number of
days. That is to say, if they had--I think, for example, that they had 10
corrals in Camaguey and the cattle was there eight days, if I remember
correctly--that means that the grass rested for 30 days during any month of
the year--30, 20-plus, or 30-plus days. So then, that was basically the
mistake: that the grass had to be given differing periods of rest according
to the month to the year and the season.

Why? Because there are periods in the year when the grass grows in 30 days
and even in less than 30 days, reaching its optimum height; there are
periods in the year when the grass needs twice the time; and on occasion,
almost three times the time. And what happened? In the spring there was an
abundance of grass, but when the fall was approaching--when the dry season
was coming--and they gave it 30 days, every month they had less grass. Thus
they indulged in the error of what Professor Voisin technically calls
"untimely acceleration."

What is untimely acceleration? They gave the field 30 days of rest in June
and the food was sufficient. Those 30 days were given in July and August;
but around September or November, they permitted 30 days and the food was
not sufficient. Consequently, they get ahead. They bring out the cattle,
instead of keeping them here six days they they keep them only three and
then they are sent to another corral. The result is that when the grass
needs more rest it gets less, because the effect is cumulative: three days,
three days, and three days, to eight places and the time totals 21 days.
The next time they leave them two days, the next time they leave then one
day, because the lot barely produces enough for one day by that time. The
result is that the time comes when it must be rested for one week: the
result is that the pastures are liquidated.

When we visited the Province of Camaguey, we spoke with the comrades who
had worked on that. We asked them how they were operating the rotating
pasture system. they explained that they were giving equal fallow time, and
I asked them what was happening. They said that when the grass became
scarce, they gave the cattle a shorter period of time in each lot, trying
to gain time.

Through Professor Voisin's book "The Productivity of Grass," it can be seen
that that precisely was the essential mistake in rotating pastures. It led
many people even to lose faith in rotation pastures. It is interesting
that, for example, in the United States, where agricultural technology is
quite advanced, they have only recently begun to understand the problems of
rotating pastures and to apply solutions. That means that it can be said
that e elaboration of a system which really makes rotating pastures one of
the most perfect techniques for the exploitation of pastures is very
recent. That precisely is the basic contribution of Professor Voisin to the
question of rotating pastures.

To us, this simple, clear, pleasant, and intelligible book is of
extraordinary technical importance. there are at this moment practically
thousands of persons in the country who are studying that book.

Of course, some of these things will be explained with accuracy,
systematically, in the lectures by Professor Voisin I am simply giving some
ideas of a general character. Of the three books by Professor Voisin, it
can be said that one of them, "The Productivity of Grass," is a book for
the agronomist; the book "The Dynamics of Pastures" is a book which can be
used by the agronomist, the botanist--that is, it is a book of more
scientific character. The book "The Productivity of Grass" is a practical
book, although it has a solid scientific base. However, Professor Voisin
has a third book, the second in the series: "Soil, Grass, Cancer." It can
be said that this is a book for farmers, but it is even more a book for
doctors.

And here is one of the most interesting aspects which as attracted out
attention in the scientific works of Professor Voisin. It is the human
aspect of his scientific research and the contribution from a point of view
which is entirely new.

It is entirely new to us, of course, and it is not only entirely new to us,
it is entirely new to the whole world. It is an entirely new point of view,
and it can be said that Professor Voisin, in addition to being a scientist,
is a apostle of man, an apostle of the health of man and above all an
apostle of preventive medicine. There are things in that book which, if
someone has never meditated on that problem, are entirely new, truly
incredible, and in some instances, traumatizing. That book analyzes the
influence of the soil on man through the animals and through plants and it
allows us to see the close relationship, the extraordinary relationship
there is between human health and the soil where the food for man is
produced, between human health and the techniques applied to produce the
food of man.

The title of that book "Soil, Grass, Cancer," is a suggestive title,
suggestive because there are a number of diseases which are known and which
it has been proved depend on food and the conditions under which that food
is produced; and possibly there is much research to be made yet in that
field. We have made a gift of a number of those medical books to medical
students, and in general I see that it has aroused a great interest.

This concept of Professor Voisin's, of the importance of the soil, of
cultivation techniques in human food, is what has permitted him to form a
new revolutionary idea which he defends vigorously, and that is the need
for the closest relationship between the farmers and the doctors. Possibly,
if someone had been told here that there existed a great relationship
between the Agronomy School and the Medical School, he would have been
surprised. It would have appeared to him that actually the School of
Agronomy had nothing to do with the Medical School--and as Professor Landa
is looking very serious, I think he must believe that I am forgetting
veterinary medicine (laugher)--truly it can be said, between the
agricultural-livestock sciences and medicine.

Professor Voisin even favors--and he suggests the idea to us of organizing
in our university--what could be called the school of human ecology. In
practice, it would be dedicated to the study of the influence of
environment on human health. Truly, in spite of the fact that each science
today tends toward specialization, without any doubts of any kind, medicine
and agriculture are called upon to have an ever closer relationship. When
we organized the first schools of soils and fertilizers, we told some
comrades that in the future medicine and agriculture would be based on the
soil. It could also be said that they would be based on biochemistry.

This relationship between agriculture and medicine also has to do with a
concept of medicine that is different from the one we traditionally have
about medicine. Traditionally, we have a therapeutic concept of
medicine,and this concept, the idea of Professor Voisin, is related to
preventive medicine. Professor Voisin says that we can make extraordinary
progress in preventive medicine because we can work without the
interference of commercial or mercantile factors in matters concerning
health. This means that we have the possibility of developing a medical
system that would avoid the necessity of a man going to the hospital--not
curing the man in the hospitals, but avoiding the necessity of the man
going to the hospital.

Of course, we had heard mention of preventive medicine, but the idea of
preventive medicine, to us, did not go beyond the problem of vaccine,
massive vaccination, boiling water, adopting hygienic measures with regard
to milk and food. But we never heard "preventive" mentioned in relation to
the biological quality of the foods we eat. That is to say, our medicine,
particularly after the Revolution, was oriented toward the prevention of
diseases, but in one aspect. The basic idea of the preventive medicine we
are speaking of here is precisely preventive medicine based on the
biological quality of the foods consumed by man.

When had we heard anything about that? When a dietitian recommended a milk,
meant, or vegetable diet to a patient, he indicated amounts--so many pounds
of milk, so many quarts of mil, so many ounces or pounds of vegetables.
When he told them to eat so many tomatoes every day, never did any
dietitian say to eat tomatoes of such biological quality or to eat mean or
milk of such biological quality or to consume fruit of such biological
quality. We all feel that a tomato, any fruit, any food is measured by
quantity, that is importance of influence on health is measured in
quantities--by pounds, ounces, or grams.

It was through the books of Professor Voisin that we first found, saw,
read, and listened to a different point of view. It was the first time in
my life that I had heard it said that one tomato might have three times as
many vitamins as another tomato, that one variety of apple could have up to
15 times more vitamins than another variety of apple, and that depended on
the technique of cultivation, that depended on the system--of course, not
in the example of the variety, but in the example of the individual tomato.
One tomato can have three times as many vitamins as another of the same
variety, depending on the way that tomato was cultivated.

That was the first time we were able to understand that our future
contained the possibility, under the conditions offered by our social
system without the interference of commercial interests, of establishing
production that would take into account not only quantity, but quality as
well. That was the first time that we had read, or saw, or learned that one
food could have larger quantities of microelements than another food and
that both those microelements and those vitamins were of vital importance
to human health. To us, really, all that was truly a revelation.

The importance of this is related to the fact that the human organism
defends itself, for example, from the attach of diseases through a
defensive system that nature has given it. There are generic defense
systems and specific defense systems, defense systems against all diseases
in general and defense systems against specific diseases.

And about these problems, which are more interesting all the time, there is
something that the physicians already--this system of the mechanisms which
nature gives living creatures with which to defend themselves from external
attacks--there is a question that is already beginning to concern many of
our physicians: it is the problem of the immunity of certain germs to
antibiotics. For example, any of our doctors in any of our hospitals has
the problem that a series of germs have already become resistant to the
effect of the antibiotics, and already one of the first things done before
apply antibiotics is to make an analysis to see what antibiotic is
effective for this germ. On occasions, out of a list of some 10
antibiotics, it is found that the germ can resist eight.

What does this mean? It means that the organisms, simple or complex, have
mechanisms of adaption or mechanisms of defense to the extent that the
contagious diseases are already starting to become a problem once more. Why
is this? Essentially because the abuse of antibiotics, the indiscriminate
use of the antibiotics, has been reducing their effectiveness, because
antibiotics are prescribed for anything or a person prescribes an
antibiotics for himself. Of course, doctors understand this problem, which
is very clear to them: the influence commercial interests had in these
problems, commercial advertisement, uncontrolled sale of antibiotics
hormones, and a number of medicines for commercial reasons. This has
already caused great damage to health and it has caused especially great
damage at this time when antibiotics, which are tremendously effective at
first, become practically useless. Doctors are already worried about how to
use antibiotics. In operations they already do not use them in a preventive
manner, and they are controlling the application of them by applying them
only in cases where it is strictly necessary.

However, in short, nature endows living beings with means of adaptation and
the human organism has no less of with means of defending itself against
disease. Those means of defense, as explained the book "Soil, Grass, and
Cancer," act in place of certain elements, certain enzymes, which normally
are those defensive means. To be able to operate, it can be said they need
raw material. The raw materials are vitamins, proteins, microelements; and
it is exactly there that the immense field for research is opened. It is
exactly there where Professor Voisin points out the path for the
development of preventive medicine, which consists precisely of giving the
organism all the elements which the organism needs to develop its own
defense against the attacks of foreign agents: bacteria and viruses.

Some may ask, "What does agriculture have to do with this?" That is very
simple, incredibly simple. There is a book, almost all the books--Professor
Voisin has a book which has not yet been translated into Spanish, called
"The New Scientific Laws for the Application of Fertilizers," in which he
explains the mechanisms through which plants absorb elements, produce
vitamins which the human organism later assimilates.

He points out a problem, a very serious problem throughout the entire world
today. All of us have heard of how advanced agricultural techniques are all
over the world, and they tell us, "In such a country they get so many
metric quintals per hectare of such a product," and practically all the
statistics of the world point up the progress of agricultural development
by the quantity of crops produced. Essentially, it can be said that in all
the countries of the world, particularly in the most advanced, agriculture
is based essentially on quantity and not quality. They are concerned with
adding a microelement only when the absence of that microelement affects
quantity, but they never worry about adding a microelement when its absence
affects quality, because quality has never been considered.

It is exactly this problem which Professor Voisin points out, and he sounds
the alarm against what he considers one of the greatest problems of
present-day civilization, against what he calls "hidden hunger. He says
that it can do as much damage as the other which is not hidden. He believes
that in many countries with a high standard of living, with a great
agriculture development, they are having hidden hungers that result from
the lack of certain essential life elements in the food being produced.

He explains why those deficiencies occur. There is a balance in the soil,
in the natural state of the soil there is a balance. Man upsets that
balance. He plows the soil. He begins to produce large crops. To produce
larger crops, he uses certain varieties which have a greater ability to
metabolize the elements and above all uses tow fertilizers, particularly
nitrogen--a fertilizer which stimulates the growth of plants, which
increases considerably the amount of food produced. He points out that of
the many elements that the plant needs and which man needs--does not finish
thought--ed.) Because there are elements which are essential for man, for
example iodine and sodium, which is an element necessary for man. I believe
that cobalt also is an element necessary for man. However iodine is not
considered essential for plants. It is not believed that sodium is
necessary for plants. There are other elements which are necessary for
plants and are not necessary for animals. Practically all elements which
are necessary for plants are necessary for animals, are essential for human
life.

When a man upsets the balance of nature--cultivates--he returns only four
elements: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium. The other, minor
elements and some other microelements, larger elements, are not returned.
Notice that almost all the formulas for fertilization which are known in
the world consist of three figures: 10-20-12, 15-10-60, 6-8-10, and so
forth, an infinite number of formulas. They refer principally to three
elements; nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Naturally, other elements
like sulphur and calcium are mixed in these fertilizers, but in the main
only five or six elements are involved. All these elements are being
constantly extracted from the soil and only three, four, or five are being
returned to it. With modern technology, large crops are raised. However,
only three or four elements are returned to the soil. Commercial food
producers return whatever permits them to obtain the largest amount of
products. As a consequence, an imbalance in the soil is created. The food
begins to contain less and less of the elements essential to life.

But that is not all: use of fertilizers, which Voisin considers one of the
greatest inventions of man--without which man would find himself subjected
to hunger--is not done in a scientific manner. The fertilizers are not
being used, but abused. He has studied that problem and has established a
series of laws which he calls scientific laws governing the application of
fertilizers, which essentially boil down to the fact that excess fertilizer
or insufficient affects the amount and can also affect the quality of food.

How are fertilizers applied in agriculture nowadays? On the basis of
commercial formulas, advertisements. However, with these fertilizers, food
for humans is being produced and human health will depend on the quality of
that food. What happens? Indiscriminate amounts of fertilizers are being
used. What happens to the elements of the soil which feed plants, which
feed man? Only those elements need to be in the ground in specific amounts.
The amounts of these elements must exist in the land, must be in a balanced
quantities, and be at the disposal of the plants. When there is an excess
of one of these elements, then there is a clash between that element and
another element, and a deficit arises. For example, the soil might contain
a specific element in sufficient amounts for the plant; when excessive
amounts of another element are added to that soil, the former element
become nonassimilable.

Perhaps many of us have never heard a word of these things. Other things
follow; for example, an excess of potassium makes calcium, sodium, and
magnesium nonassimilable. An excess of potassium also makes boron
nonassimilable. Now, magnesium is an essential element; magnesium is very
important for human cells, human metabolism. It is also quite important for
the manufacture of vitamins by the plants. When an excessive amount of
potassium is applied to a soil, a plant. a crop, grows in which the
proportion of magnesium has decreased considerably. Only one
element--potassium--affects several other elements. The amounts of sodium,
calcium, and magnesium in a plant, and phosphorous, another element that is
in wide use--an excess of phosphorous causes a deficiency of zinc and
copper. An excess of calcium caused a deficiency of manganese; an excess of
nitrogen causes deficiency in copper. In other words, the continuous
application of nitrogen--acid soils cause a deficiency in phosphorus in
plants and a deficiency in molybdenum.

Now, a deficiency of any of these elements causes a deficiency of specific
vitamins in the plants: vitamin C-manganese; vitamin A--amounts of
carotene, which is the basis of vitamin A, decrease when the plant is
deficient in sodium. Phosphorus, for example, or copper--I do not know
which--is quite important in the manufacture of vitamin B-12. I am not sure
whether this might be manganese. (Aside--"Could the professor? Cobalt, yes?
For riboflavin? Who is a medical student around here?" Some one answers.
"Then that is deficiency of manganese; no, cobalt. And mangenese, what
deficiency does it produce? No one knows." Audience laughs. "We must find
out.")

Are you medical students? You are veterinary students? What we have here
are medical professors. We have a few doctors too (audience talking). I
have seen a few around; I have seen the dean of the Medical School--Comrade
Dorticos. There must be a few more. They are invited. (Someone speaks in
French; a period of silence follows)

This is a very important matter. Who takes these factors into account when
producing food? Who takes these factors into consideration when growing
vegetables which are consumed by the people? Generally speaking, this
factor has not been taken into account in any part of the world. (Castro
speaks to someone in the audience. "It broke down? What happened? We had
not though of that difficulty. Can you give the professor a cup of coffee?"
Silent interval)

(Someone else speaks) Professor Voisin wanted to tell the Comrade Premier
that on hearing this explanation, he things that the Comrade Premiers the
best of his pupils, the best of his students (stormy applause).

(Castro resumes) I thank Professor Voisin. Quite simply, I really consider
myself a pupil who still has much to study in these books and also I feel
like a nervous pupil here in the presence of the professor. Really, I am
trying to explain the reasons, the factors, the viewpoints, which most
aroused my interest, as I am sure that they will arouse the interest of
practically all of the people. We were waiting for the visit of Professor
Voisin so that he could serve as the authority. Some of these books are
extremely interesting to all of us from all viewpoints, from the medical,
the human, and the economic aspects. We were awaiting just this lecture so
that though it interest might be aroused which would direct attention
toward all these problems, all these subjects, and all the material of
scientific nature which is going to be published in our periodicals and our
(word indistinct).

I have not the slightest doubt of two things: first, that in this problem
we have a great, an extraordinary field of extraordinary human importance;
and second, that we have the ideal conditions to advance in this field as
far as we want to. In a sense, we are working on these matters which we
were pointing out here. Within a few years there will be tens of thousands
of technicians who will fully possess and fully control this knowledge.

We will not move toward development of an agricultural technology that
seeks quantity alone. We will seek quantity and quality our food. In the
future we will have another standard to measure the value of our products.
That is to say, so much of a product of such and such a quality, because
actually in our country all the conditions are present to make it possible
for us to pursue this aspiration.

At first, our concern was also to increase production on a quantity basis.
But the technique that produces the greatest quantity is not always the one
that produces the best quality. Producers who have commercial aims are
concerned with quantity and, when an element affects quantity, they apply
it. For instance, it is know that--the professor presents examples of
this--for instance, in the cultivation of onions, certain elements make
possible a better appearance a greater quantity, and a higher price, simply
because of the external appearance. So these microelements are used. When
the lack of a microelement does not affect the quantity of the product,
commercial framers are not concerned about it.

A technician training program is now underway in order that a technician
may be available for each parcel of land, practically each farm, each lot
of land. The day will come when each lot of and will have its technician, a
well-trained technician who will have this philosophy: to produce in
quantity and in quality. Moreover, these technicians will be aided by all
the means, all the laboratories which may be necessary. They will be
supported by all the necessary research.

It can be said that even today, in many products, it would already be
possible to follow this policy in producing in quantity and in quality. But
there is no doubt that there is a great field for research because we
already know, for instance, from these same books and from research which
has been done, of the antagonism between some elements and the influence of
some of these elements on certain diseases; but indubitable there remains
much to be known, much to investigate in this. who knows how many more
things can be ascertained, can be investigated, by working in this
direction? Indubitably, there is already a series of products in which the
matter of quality could well be attended to. But a day must come when each
and every one of the products consumed by the population will have a
maximum, optimum biological value. This must be the aspiration of our
agricultural technology.

There are now many schools and technological institutes for workers and
student. Some of these technological institute are represented here. In the
next three months, we shall have some 7,000 students--including workers and
students, workers who will be studying--some 2,000 students from the
secondary schools and some 5,000 workers. They will already be studying
these matters. Moreover, new teachers are being trained; we are acquiring
the laboratory equipment. These institutes are going to have all the
necessary means. Next year we are also going to have a center of scientific
investigation. Also next year, we are going to have an animal nutrition
center, ad we are also going to carry out an intensive dissemination
campaign on the whole problem. We have acquired, so far, nearly 20,000
books on these three subjects: productivity of grass, soil and grass
(rotation?), and dynamics in pasturage.

Professor Voisin has had the kindness to give our country the rights to
publish one of his books, the one that deals, as I said, with the
scientific laws governing the application of fertilizers. he told me that
the rights he granted us should be used to compensate for the damage caused
our country by Hurricane Flora (long applause). He has also granted us the
rights, for the same reason, to the 10 lectures he is going to
deliver--lectures, as he has explained here, on which he worked hard for
months. These lectures have already been translated and printed in book
form in our country. I have been told that tomorrow copies of the lectures
are going to be distributed either at the beginning or end of the lecture.
So all the guests will receive one of these books. Concerning Professor
Voisin's other works, of which some 1,000 copies have already been
distributed, the Revolutionary Government proposes to acquire considerable
quantities of them so they may be distributed in the schools, farms, and
above all at the different levels of technical studies related to the field
of agriculture.

However, it may very will be that Professor Voisin has not been able to
realize yet the other benefit we have received from his works, that is, the
benefit to our economy and people. It is unquestionable that he application
of rational pasturage to agricultural-cattle production means a technical
step forward of considerable importance and offers unlimited possibilities
for increasing milk and meat production. Moreover, this can be done at a
cost that cannot be compared to the cost involved in the past for producing
one liter of milk with imported fodder. Suffice it to say that, by using
rational pasturage, the cost for feed to produce one liter of milk is less
than one cent. I mean the cost of feed not counting the milking of the cow,
the installations, and all those things. The cost of imported feed to
produce one liter of milk is between four and five cents, which would have
to come from our exchange currency.

We are now engaged in our first experience with this new technique, and in
such matters the problem of economy is always foremost.

I am going to take this opportunity to reveal a curious thing to you. Two
technicians of great prestige--a Scotch expert in the science of foods a
few months ago and now Professor Voisin--have stressed the question of
expenses and have advised us to be careful about them and to economize.
This is something I have not yet heard from any of our comrades working in
this or any other field of our economy. This fact engaged my attention, for
both Preston and Voisin give the matter of expense a great deal of thought.
I was able to appreciate this when we went to Aretmisa. He continually and
insistently advised us to consider expense, to reduce the cost of
production. Both these men always keep in mind the problem of costs, of
economy, while our own technician do not do so. Let us speak the truth.

We could even say that what these experts advise is part of economic
science. I told you that Professor Voisin advises us strenuously to be
observant, to analyze things well, and to go slowly. One of his other
warnings to me is that we be careful. Well, the first results of the
practical application of this method have been incredible. There is great
enthusiasm for it, and in practically every province the comrades are
working at it. However, we still have a great deal to do, and above all a
great many things to investigate.

I think that one of the most attractive thing about Professor Voisin's
literary works is that they are very analytical and that possibly they may
contribute to developing something we all need because all of us are, to a
certain extent, under the negative influence of our previous educational
system. All of us were educated and trained with antedeluvian teaching
methods. What is the principal failure of those methods? It is that the
young student's initiative was not developed. The student's analytical
ability was not developed, nor was his instinct to observe everything, to
investigate everything, to question everything, and to analyze and
investigate things. The training that we received beginning with our first
grade had no relation to this development of inquisitive, analytic thinking
and to the spirit of observation. We had to learn everything by heart: the
rules of arithmetic, geography, history, grammar, arithmetic, everything.
We can see the results today in many of our technicians. We can see a
tremendous lack of initiative; a lack of the spirit of observation; a lack
of analytical ability. This is far from being an adequate kind of teaching.
This kind of education is apparent in almost all the adults in our country.

It is necessary to develop in every student a spirit of observation, the
ability to analyze and investigate. That means that we must not simply
accept things without thinking just because it is written in a book or told
to us. One of the things we shall find in Voisin's books is that they do
not claim to have solved an infinity of problems; they do not claim to have
solved many of the problems. One can say even say that they constantly
raise problems and stress the need to solve these problems. They stress the
need for investigation. They point out the limitations in our current
knowledge. They point out the great mistakes made in our production
technique. It can also be said that they constantly urge us to improve and
cast doubt on many things in a spirit of criticism--on things, moreover,
that have been long accepted.

When these books got into our hands, we had read some books on problems of
cattle-raising, soil, and many other things, including North American
books. I must say that the North Americans have very good books indeed.
Many of these books have been translated into Spanish and acquired by us.
However, there is one characteristic, one great difference between Voisin's
work and those books. WE can say that the North American books have a
static concept of nature. They are based on formulas and feeding tables.
None of these factors of human nature is analyzed; none of the questions
concerning the quality of products is analyzed. they are books that
evidently present nature in a static form. They do not state the amount of
protein in each type of fodder. They do not point out the adequate feeding
formula for each type of cow according to the quantity of milk they produce
and their size. That is, they present to us a completely static and dead
nature.

But one characteristic of Professor Voisin's work is its dialectic approach
to nature. I am going to say that Professor Voisin is engaged in politics
and I am not going to link him with any philosophical theory or political
party in any way. Were I to do so, he would immediately chide us for lack
of hospitality What I mean to say is that in my opinion his concept of
nature is absolutely dialectic. AT no time does he present a static nature.
He presents a changing nature. He presents a dynamic nature. He is always
analyzing the relations exiting between one and another factor. He
constantly tells us that it is very difficult to analyze the effect of an
isolated factor on something because each factor works jointly with a
series of factors. In other words, the change in one factor is enough to
produce a change in the entire chain of factors and in the results given by
these factors. In his entire work on pasturage, the pasturage flora, and
the development of pasturage flora, he is constantly explaining to us a
dynamic and changing nature. He is constantly explaining to us how each
factor intervenes to produce certain results. At the same time he bears in
mind all the laws of nature and the results derived when one of these laws
is violated. His books show us a world on the move, nature on the move.

We have heard about dialectic materialism and so forth and so on, but,
sincerely, when one reads these books, he sees nature in action; he sees
the laws of dialectics in action; he sees the laws of matter in action.
Among the many useful things that we can get from a study of Professor
Voisin's books is exactly that concept of nature, that spirit of analysis
and investigation.

For example, the Morrison tables on feeding and almost all the books on
fertilizers and soil mention the amount of protein in greens, corn, soya,
and so forth, yet for the first time Professor Voisin says that all these
formulas which give the amount of protein present in certain foods are
conventional because they are the result of multiplying the amount of
nitrogen by the approximate figures of 6.25 in an analysis. Voisin points
out that there may be certain amount of nitrogen in a certain pasture land
but suggests that the plants in it may not have assimilated sufficient
nitrogen to produce much protein. Yet if a simple laboratory analysis is
used here, one comes to the conclusion that the animal is getting such and
such quantity of protein. However, before we begin forming doubts along
this line, we are blindly believing in a laboratory analysis. We are
sending things to be analyzed in a laboratory and we are receiving the
tests and believing that those analyses are conclusive. Then we are told
not be believe in those analyses because their value is quite relative and
insignificant if not accompanied by biological analysis--in other words,
the result produced in animals by a specific type of feeding. These books
teach us that biological examination--biological analyses of results--must
always complement the chemical analysis. However, in reading other types of
books we have come to accept as an irreversible truth the fact that such
analysis could tell us the amount of protein continued in a certain feed.

This teaches us to abandon the dogmatic position in science, to subject all
statements and all things read to analysis, to challenge many things
because we must not forget that science has advanced precisely at those
times when it has shed doubts on a series of truths considered irrefutable.
Our students must develop that critical spirit of investigation,
observation, analysis, that dialectic conception of nature. There fore, I
was saying that we have much to learn from these works. We are going to
receive great benefit from them. On the other hand, for our country, our
people, whose interest in science and technology is awakened more and more,
we can say that these lectures are a symbol of the direction being taken by
the country and an indication of the interest awakened by science and
technology. The fact that the more than 400 invitations extended were not
sufficient for all persons who desired to attend this opening indicates the
degree of interest aroused, for which we must thank Professor Voisin.

We must thank him for the attention and interest aroused by his visit. His
presence among us helps us to increase interest in technology and science.
Beginning with his visit, we will start to disseminate certain works,
beginning with his lectures, in the newspapers. We have acquired
approximately 1,300 copies of each of his books. We will probably acquire
some 15,000 or 20,000 additional copies. However, this will still not be
sufficient. If we have newspapers that reach 200,000 or 250,000 copies; if
we publish each of these lectures in the newspapers and these issues are
read in the fields, many people will be able to gradually compile their own
books. Thus our newspapers will have a new function, not simply to publish
news and information, but to disseminate technical and scientific matters.

This is an unlimited prospect, for there is a very interesting development
involved. When any citizen is introduced to any of these subjects, he
immediately becomes aware of the need he has to study other things. For
example, we have distributed a quantity of books. Books on soils and
fertilizers, productivity of grass and soil, grass and cancer, are among
those books distributed among the comrades of the party in the province. We
have also distributed another book. I think it is called "Soils and Their
Improvement." We have not distributed other books. We know that as they
start studying the books on soils and these technical books, they will
start feeling the need to study botany, chemistry, mathematics, biology.
However, we prefer that that need arise.

In school, we were told a priori: "Study that book." We did not like the
book. We did not know what purpose the book served. We were given for
example a book on biochemistry, and we would say: "What a boring book; what
is it for?" Many times, later in life we learn the purpose of these things.
Above all, when anyone begins reading a technical book, he constantly finds
a mathematical, chemical, botanical formula and starts to become aware of
his limited knowledge and begins to feel the real need for studying the
so-called basic sciences. I know, for example, that in basic sciences
biochemistry is the terror the students in the first year of medicine.
However, I know that some of the comrades have started to look for an
agronomist or a chemistry professor before they received these books. In
other words, they have begun to feel the need very soon and have organized
circles for the study of chemistry. I think that we have sent the comrades
a book on botany. They will feel the need for studying these basic subjects
and the study will develop. We can use the dissemination procedure for the
distribution of study material which will reach all the corners of the
country through magazines and newspapers.

We are going to open this program, thanks to the kindness of Professor
Voisin, with his lectures. In other words, Professor Voisin's lectures will
be published in the newspapers. We are going to divide the newspapers for
covering different subjects. In all corners of the country, agricultural
workers will have an opportunity--and all those persons interested--and in
these matters other persons aside from the agricultural workers will become
interested--because it is possible that many persons, when they begin to
read about these problems, will see angles and aspects of production and
technology which they had never thought about, and I am sure that the
interest of many persons in the cities will be aroused in this connection.

It is even possible that this will help us somewhat to return our sights to
the fields, because in the future (as heard--ed.) everyone looked toward
the cities--from the fields toward the cities. We must return our sights
toward the fields. Professor Voisin points out that some of the causes for
the decadence of civilizations are precisely those great urban
concentrations. He explains that just these great urban concentrations have
led to the exhaustion of land, to the production of vitamin-deficient food.
He said that through the sewage system of Rome, Babylonia, and the great
cities of times past flowed the fertility of soils. As soils become
exhausted, a physical and moral degeneration of the inhabitants set in.
Fertilizers were not known at that time. On the other hand, they did not
have the problem being faced today by modern civilization--problems of
excesses and inadequate use of fertilizers.

Thus, to certain degree, we have leaned to great concentrations in the
cities. We have to return our sights to the fields. This does not mean that
we should move now to the fields, but for the time being we must check that
current and sent many city youths to the fields as technicians. Therefore,
we are glad to hear that many people from the cities are joining the Soil
and Fertilizer School and the School of Veterinary Technicians, because in
this manner the city will return people--as technicians--to the fields or
supply thousands of technicians for the fields. These technicians will go
to the fields to make them produce under quite different conditions.

We sincerely believe that our country has an extraordinary future. That
future stems from the possibility of developing a planned economy, from the
absence of contradiction between certain interests which might prevent us
from applying scientific laws to our work, from the absence of commercial
factors which might prevent us from applying a certain policy, such as the
one applied today in medicine. Where, for example, today each drugstore is
not interested in pushing a certain antibiotic or hormone and where all
medicines are sold through controlled means, medial prescriptions. In other
words, we have no social contradiction that prevents us from carrying out a
program of this nature. That program is being carried out. That program has
unlimited possibilities in our country.

As we know that, as we are aware of it, we are able to appreciate the
meaning of technical aid, the meaning of the visit of such a distinguished
scientist as Professor Voisin. He says that he was surprised by presence at
the airport. In fact, this is not exceptional because we are quite grateful
that Professor Voisin should incur the inconvenience of making a trip from
France to visit our country and accept our invitation. I feel that that he
deserves much more, as he has made a greater effort. We sincerely and
greatly appreciate his visit; we value it because of strictly technical
reasons, because of strictly scientific reasons; and it is in this vein
that we appreciate his visit. We desire to gain no political advantage;
fortunately, he understands well how our people act--their vitality and the
absence of political intention, the absence of the slightest effort to gain
political advantage. We are interested in his visit as a scientist; we are
grateful and appreciate his visit extraordinarily because of its scientific
and technological value to us, because of the aid his visit will
contribute. We are extraordinarily thankful for his visit, as we are
extraordinarily grateful for the years he has devoted throughout his entire
life to research and scientific work, whose usefulness is seen.

Perhaps the only way we can compensate or reward Professor Voisin is
through the satisfaction a scientist must feel in seeing how these ideas to
which he has devoted his life--how his research becomes or can become very
useful and used by a country such as ours; also through the satisfaction he
must feel in seeing that his efforts have not been in vain and how any
scientific endeavor is called upon to benefit millions of human beings
without restriction of frontiers, continents. Thus the efforts of a
scientist begin to become useful to all of us who are located a long
distance from his country, his continent.

This also teaches us that study and scientific research can never have
egotistical ends, cannot have personal or national interests as their
purpose; that scientific research has a much broader frontier, a more
generous and noble field; that scientific research can be useful to all men
in any continent, country, or corner of the earth; that - research is
dedicated to helping all humanity; for today scientific achievements
reached anywhere in the world can be useful to us just as today radio and
television, which we did not invent, and the electric light, which we did
not invent, are useful to us.

So too, when we devote our efforts to study and research we must think that
what we achieve along this line will help not only our fellow citizens, but
human beings in other countries, continents--above all, the research done
and successes reached in a country which has our climate, because we must
not forget that the vast majority of underdeveloped countries of the
world--that the poorest countries in the world, the countries where more
hunger and poverty prevail--are located in geographic latitudes similar to
ours. Because if the technology, and above all agricultural technology,
advanced in Europe, in the United States and other countries located in
other continents, has not had similar development in countries with our
type of climate, we can achieve technological successes that can be of
inestimable usefulness to other underdeveloped and poor countries located
in the same latitude as Cuba. We must consider the living conditions in
many of these nations, the difficulties they face, the need for developing
this technology in a climate like ours, the usefulness it can have for all
of them. We not only aspire to develop an advanced technology, but we can
aspire also to develop it in a new dimension, in a dimension that does not
measure only the quantity, but the quality, in a much broader and profound
human dimension. It could be said that it is possible for us to become the
first country in the world in the development of agriculture according to
new concepts.

Professor Voisin has advised us to study the possibility of establishing a
school of human ecology, and if we did that, we would be the first country
in the world in which such a school was created. This, of course, involves
making the agronomists, doctors, and veterinarians agree. Professor Voisin
says that this is very difficult (crowd laughs). But we believe and are
quite happy that the deans of those three schools are herewith us, and I
believe that it could be difficult even under our conditions, as I have
heard tremendous discussions among agronomists and veterinarians about the
boundaries of the two schools (crowd laughs). When I heard such heated
discussions among the agronomists and veterinarians, the only thing that I
could say was: "Try to solve the boundary dispute through peaceful means
and without recourse to violence" (crowd laughs). At the same time, we must
try to conciliate and set boundaries and to determine what factors join the
schools of medicine, agronomy, and veterinary medicine. We must take the
advice and idea of Professor Voisin into account and really study the
possibility of developing, in the future, a school which covers those
sectors of science and the university.

That idea will not fall on deaf ears here. We will try to study that
possibility. For my part, I am already trying to contribute to the idea and
have given each of the comrades of the fourth year in the medical school--I
began with the fourth year--the book on soils, grass and cancer. I made
them promise to read it and told them that I would give then an examination
on the book, that I would take a sampling to see if they had really read
it.

In fact, they received the book very enthusiastically. We plan to see that
one out of every 10 medical students, from the fourth year on, devotes his
time to research. They can even conduct very interesting research projects
while they are practicing rural medicine in the fields. We will also select
some of the graduating doctors for the scientific research center (and us?)
basic sciences professors. Here too, we must try to achieve coordination
between the university, the Scientific Research Center, the Institute of
Animal Nutrition, and the Public Health Ministry so that all understand the
importance of medicine, the need for training new cadres, for research, and
thus prevent a hypertrophic development; for everything must be developed
proportionately, and those resources we must have be disturbed among those
different fronts.

We must establish the closest cooperation between these institutes and
organizations. The Scientific Research Center will be operating by the
middle of next year. An information center will be established within the
Scientific Research Center. This information center will send each doctor
in each specialty a list of all magazine articles published which interest
them, and this establish closer relations and prevent the creation of
factions. Our aim is to crate teams and establish cooperation among the
teams so that all help each other. Therefore, with two good research
centers, much interest is being aroused in research next year. I am not
going to mention the viewpoint of the technicians we have for research
because we have several of those technicians, who have recently graduated
from the university and who are organizing there teams for research. I take
this opportunity because I see many of the comrades from the medical,
livestock, and soil schools, from INRA, and from different organizations.
We even have a group from the Hydraulic Institute here. Practically
everyone showed interest in proposing the need for this relationship and
coordination, so that we can take the opportunity presented to us and
realize that aspiration. Today, few nations in the world have the privilege
that is ours. We have a country where everyone has learned to read and
write, where almost one million adults are studying, a country which is the
master of its resources, the master of its lands. Few countries have the
privilege that is ours today, and we must know how to take advantage of it
and I am sure we will take advantage of it.

I hope Professor Voisin will forgive me for this lengthy talk. On behalf of
all the people and all comrades present here, who come from all soil
schools and from various university schools and production front centers
and who desire to hear this lecture with much interest--on their behalf we
thank him. We also thank His Excellency and the French ambassador for his
kindness in attending this event tonight, having spoken and introduced
Professor Voisin. We are very grateful and hope that the hospitality of our
people is demonstrated fully and that the hospitality of our people will
indicate that gratefulness. Thank you (applause).
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