Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Television and Radio Service in Spanish 0130 GMT 15 May 69

[Text of Fidel Castro address on 13 May to closing session of Institute of
Animal Science congress, held in Havana 10-13 May]

[Text] Dear guests and Cuban comrades: I can imagine the arduous work you
have experienced during these 4 days. Nevertheless, I feel that I face an
equally difficult task and responsibility tonight in coming to share this
podium. It is customary to invite someone to sum up or close events such as
this one. It is not easy for me to sum up a scientific event such as the
one which has taken place. However, I find myself committed to the task. I
must do it with a profound feeling of responsibility.

We cannot miss the fact that this event is of importance both at home and
abroad and that the congress was attended and is still being attended not
only by a large group of distinguished foreign researchers, but also by
hundreds of our own who are engaged in the field of animal husbandry in our
country. Naturally, the material discussed at the congress is vitally
important for our country. It is important that we be well informed and,
especially, that we leave this congress well informed. And it is my
duty--as I see it--to speak tonight precisely so that we may be well
informed and try to orient ourselves.

I have had some personal connection with this institution. What is the
Animal Science Institute? How is it organized and why? The causes for it
were obvious. Our people were faced with the problem classified as
"development" but which in a more concrete fashion has to do with the basic
necessity of living, and in some cases of just surviving, of facing the
serious food problem which came not only from our underdevelopment but from
foreign sources which imposed an economic-type blockade on our country. In
these circumstances, our people had no store of scientific knowledge to
fall back on. They had very little experience, very few technicians, and
very few scientists. Those who fancied themselves such were not exactly so,
nor did they know these fields with any depth. How could they then be in
any position, under the circumstances, to serve the people?

The country was faced with the need to develop its economy, its
agriculture, its sources of food supply, its cadre of technicians and
administrators in order to move ahead with the task. Above all, they had to
acquire the knowledge, the experience and the techniques so as to solve
these problems adequately.

Animal husbandry in our country was relatively large, consisting of several
million head, but it was overwhelmingly a mass of cattle which had been
developed during centuries, more or less adapted to our climate, but
producing very little meat or milk. The number of milk producing animals in
our country, of the milk producing variety, was exceedingly small. Most of
the cattle was what we commonly call Zebu or Brahma, some small groups
of,those known as criollos, and some scant thousands of Holsteins, and a
few head of Brown Swiss. In other words, a number which could not satisfy
the milk needs of our people.

In the old days, the people had no access to these products and had no
means of acquiring them. Frequently there was a surplus of milk, but during
a drought, neither the available hay nor silage nor food reserves solved
the problem. So, milk distributors solved the problem by adding water to
the milk.

The new need, however, was not to produce the market but to fill the needs
of our people. Logically, then, the whole of our production capacity was
not enough to supply milk and meat for our country's population. For us the
more important of the two needs was to solve the problem of milk supply.

I have read a good part of the lectures and of the works presented at this
congress and I deem it advisable to present what our number one objective
was. We have spoken, of course, of the development of meat production and
of the intention of increasing meat exports, and through these exports to
obtain foreign exchange. This is so, but for us the main objective of the
development of our cattle has to do with, first of all, the purpose of
satisfying the needs of the people. That is, the primary purpose of the
development of our animal herds is simply the consumption needs of the
people and the raising of the standard of living of our people.

The development of sugarcane farming has to do with the exports and with
the increase in exports. But in the strategy of herd development, the first
thing is to satisfy the milk needs of the people and, secondly, to satisfy
the meat demand. Therefore, it is necessary to keep in mind, in order to
"understand it, where the effort made by the revolution in this field, is
being directed. This being the main objective, we find ourselves with
almost unsolvable problems. We found, first of all, that our herds lacked
milk producing potential and that, secondly, the few cows which could fill
these needs were, in many cases, under-fed and our country did not have the
means to import the concentrates for these animals.

On the order of priorities, there were some very urgent necessities. Quite
often it was the need of medicines for the people, for example, which
competed with the possibility of acquiring the concentrates to feed our
skimpy milk herds.

We were faced with the need of finding solutions to this problem. First of
all, how to increase the milk herds and, secondly, how to increase, or
improve, or satisfy the food needs of the herds.

Our country had never been a producer of grain or of soybeans. Two problems
presented themselves: a lack of background in these crops and adverse
climatic conditions. The climatic conditions consisted of the fact that in
our country there are long periods of drought and that the rains generally
come all of a sudden. It is not at all like some temperate climate
countries where the land is prepared before winter and some of it is even
planted before the winter. It is not at all like places where, when the
snows begin to melt, the land, already broken up and ready for sowing, has
the moisture necessary for the planting of great expanses of grain. In our
country, we must have the land ready and then wait for the first heavy
rainfall, and when this downpour comes, it might come with the regular
rainy season and long before the land can be sown it is covered with grass.
Furthermore, the situation of rams without irrigation would have made it
obligatory to have a tremendous number of machines at our disposal. The
experience drawn from sowing about half a million hectares in cane in a one
5-month period for the 1970 harvest seriously brought home to us the
difficult in the task which had to be carried out. And, like on many other
occasions, the land had to be prepared and sown with animal-drawn, not
machine-drawn equipment.

Our climate has presented us with such problems, for example, as plagues
and diseases, weeds, the struggle against weeds, and the struggle against
plagues. The use of weed killers had been totally unknown, and the problem
of irrigation had be tackled in its entirety. We also lacked experience in
combating plant diseases, and our country also had to face some natural

I mentioned the drought, though we are also affected by excessive rainfall,
floods, and even occasional cyclones. Thus we faced all these natural
disasters: drought, floods, and cyclones. But there was also a shortage of
machinery, irrigation, experience, weed killers, a shortage of high-yield
seeds, and means and knowledge on combating plagues.

Cane cultivation was carried out under conditions that prevailed in the
past because the type of cane in one way or other resisted those conditions
that were adverse in the past. It resisted drought, which, of course
affected production but did not kill the planting. Sometimes it resisted
certain excess humidity. It was a plant that, by its cycle of life,
compensated in some periods of the year for the adverse conditions of other
periods. It was the plant that resists disease, planted with backward
farming technique and yielding a certain amount of production to sustain
the national economy.

These then were the adverse circumstances: the lack of a cattle herd with
milk potential, the lack of funds for importing concentrates and poor
natural conditions for producing those concentrates here at home.

We were aware of the situation from the very outset. From the very
beginning we strived to develop techniques and research. Moreover, it was
the circumstances in farming and cattle raising, as in other fields, that
made us work to try to answer the question: what kind of cattle are we
going to develop? How should we feed them? First off, how are we going to
produce the milk our people, our children, our aged, our sick, and the rest
of our population need? With what cattle herd? How were we going to feed
it? We had to answer those questions.

Part of the answer lay in developing research. But to do this we lacked
research centers; we lacked technicians and experience in research. This
gave rise to the initial idea of a center that could conduct research in
such things as animal nutrition and the development of cattle. Yet by the
same token it was impossible for our country to wait a long period of time
to develop the techniques that could tell us how to solve our problems.
Starting with what little knowledge we had and considering our conditions,
it was a practical, and in some instances an urgent need to take steps to
solve the problem.

Thus it was that the Animal Science Institute was organized; thus it was
that, in the search for technicians the first contacts were made with
certain technicians; and thus is was that the institution was formed,
pertinent arrangements were made, and the institution began working.

We should point out that the institute is somewhat unique. Operational
procedures were discussed with the technicians: they were afforded broad
powers for research. It was taken for granted that the government would
participate in some way, have some interest in the research, and, of
course, that the directives, the ideas, and the points of view of the
researchers that were given broad powers would be in line with the
country's immediate interests so as to meet its most urgent needs.

The institute was established, with the revolutionary government's having a
representative in it, a representative whose basic purpose would be to
facilitate the establishment of the material bases for work, and also serve
as liason agent with it.

We should frankly state that once the institute was established relations
with it were held to a minimum. Given hypothesis arose. The board of the
Institute of Animal Science brought up the thesis of how the problem of
cattle nutrition in Cuba should be tackled.

The idea was broached that said nutrition should fundamentally be based on
corn, milo-maize, or sorghum. We should note that our stand disagreed with
that idea. But we held to our purpose of letting the institute carry out
its research with the utmost freedom of action.

We observed how the research was geared toward a solution of feeding the
cattle with grains. And, though we strongly felt that it was the wrong path
we permitted the pertinent tests to be made; we respected the researchers'
right to freedom of research, and we resigned ourselves to letting only a
small part of the effort be directed toward another path.

Sometimes, with the utmost respect, we expressed, by means of the Cuban
companions, our interest in given research projects. And, though we did not
think corn and milo-maize were the answer, we nevertheless thought a
positive effort was being made toward obtaining higher-yield hybrids by
importing pure lines that would make for a great production of corn or
other plants or grains. Although this in our view would not have solved the
livestock problem, in any case it was a firm step in our agriculture plus
helping to develop and train Cuban technical cadres.

This is why, to our mind, what we basically expected from the Institute of
Animal Science was not a solution to the nutritional needs of our
livestock, but rather, fundamentally, that it would contribute to the
training of a large group of Cuban technicians who later, one way or
another, with a more or less correct guidance, would ultimately contribute
to the development of livestock in our country.

No resources were spared for the institute. At its disposal, in the heart
of Havana, were placed splendid watered tracts--of the few in our
country--over 1,000 hectares. Also given it were the material means,
buildings, equipment, human resources, and abundant facilities for
interchange, and for all of its activity.

We also placed at the institute's disposal many valuable university
comrades, youths who were completing their studies and who trooped to that
center of work in research, but above all to become researchers.

This story must be told because if it is not told we are going to run the
risk of--if we abide by pure courtesy, by 100 percent tact in everything
that will be told--all leaving here a bit confused. I am going to say it
frankly; we would be leaving without even knowing what it is that we have
been trying to solve in this country, and on what the hopes for solving
those problems are based. We would be leaving without understanding a lot
of things.

Now, why didn't we think that grain was our country's solution? There are
numerous reasons. We gave some of them earlier. In the first place, our
climate is not nature's ideal climate for the cultivation of corn. I say it
simply. It is true that regarding corn, as is true for many other kinds of
plants, adaptations which have been permitting, through selection and
genetics, the acquisition of varieties that can resist climatic conditions
that were not the climatic conditions where the grain grew naturally, have
been being made possible.

All the problems mentioned earlier--the droughts, the need to break up vast
expanses of land, the need to use thousands of machines to do so, the need
to use weed-killers and chemical or mechanical a means to cultivate this
corn besides--we had to develop the varieties and test them exhaustively
before setting out along that road; we needed to know what we were going to
do with the lands that were not irrigated; we needed to know how we were
going to confront the problem in the lands without irrigation, which was
almost all of the agricultural soils; how we were going to suddenly plant
all that corn at the beginning of spring; how we were going to solve that
problem in those broad areas of the country that had drainage problems; how
we were going to (?overcome) the problems of the soil, if many of the best
lands were already being used for the cultivation of cane; how we we were
going to solve the problem of the cyclones.

Why did our country have to get involved in cultivation that obliged it to
break up huge expanses of land every year to plant corn? Why did our
country have to adapt itself to a technique of animal nutrition that was
perfectly explainable and justifiable in countries with a temperate
climate--in Europe and in most of the United States, where they have long
winters during which they can break up large expanses of land and even need
to do so in order to get the greatest yield per unit of land in a short
period of time?

Why renounce the magnificent advantages that, on the other hand, a country
with our climate had? Why renounce the advantages that our tropical or
subtropical climate offered? Why renounce the advantages to our country of
the absence of hard winters, the absence of snow, and the possibility of
maintaining the growth, throughout th year, of other species, of other
perennial plants, which do not force us to break up the land every year and
which, instead, permit us to keep and to take advantage of all the
advantages of our climate?

Why didn't we take advantage of all the advantages of the exploitation of
the grazing land in the conditions of our climate? The comparison was in no
way valid. There are artificial feeds the production of which can be
prolonged indefinitely, whose productivity even increases year by year,
which can resist droughts, which sprout up again rapidly when the rains
start and which, when irrigated and adequately fertilized, can maintain an
almost constant production all year long. Furthermore, if we had the means
of, with our few machines ear-marked for other cultivation--mainly cane,
and also the direct production of other foodstuffs--if we had the
opportunity to develop a really economical form of exploitation of cattle,
and of land, why should we throw ourselves into a technique that was much
more costly; that required many more resources, and that, under conditions
in our country, was much less sure?

There were two opposed opinions: that the solution was through grains and
that the solution was through pasturage. So a sort of ideological dispute
arose in the domain of science--you could say science or, if you prefer, in
the domain of practice, or in the domain of realities. However, we did not
restrict them, we did not prevent them from continuing the experiments and
tests to find a solution through grains. We managed--by asking,
insisting--to get them to do some research in pasturage.

We were reading the paper presented here by engineer Quintana on
experiments in the production of meat through pasturage: the napier test,
the planting of napier and alfalfa, the planting of Guinea with Kudzu. And
we were remembering exactly how we managed to get this research done. There
was resistance within the institute to doing that research, and we had to
obtain a few hectares of land and ask the Cuban comrades to do the research
anyway. Anyway, I was very pleased to see how, ultimately, among the papers
on animal husbandry was a paper on the (?possibilities) regarding the
production of mean on the basis of pasturage. Of course there was something
very curious.

The basic goal of that research was to find out what was the productivity
in meat though pasturage of an hectare of land, and we supported the
argument that, under the conditions of our climate, an hectare of certain
fodders with adequate irrigation and fertilization was three times as
productive as an hectare devoted to corn.

With great surprise we saw that the goal of the research was barely
mentioned, that the conclusion as to how much meat is produced per hectare
is not drawn, but rather that it is practically turned into a comparative
test of the reactions of diverse breeds to pasturage. And it speaks of
(?crossing) Brown Swiss with Zebus, (?crossing) Holstein with Zebu, and a
few pure Zebus, and that they got different results to the different tests.
And I remember perfectly well that when that test was made, they did not
choose (?a cross) of this and and (?a cross) of that. It was not a test of
breeds. If it turned out to be a test of breeds, it was because when they
brought the cattle to make the test, they brought (?commercial) Zebus,
Zebus that were more or less pure, and some (?crosses).

It was still a surprise to us that a test whose aim it was to show the
superiority of pasturage over grains would end up a test to see how the
diverse breeds responded to feeing with pasturage. The main objective was
practically ignored, was practically forgotten. Later they began to make
tests with syrup.

In my opinion, the field in which the Institute of Animal Husbandry has
made its most important effort, and its most serious effort, and its most
practical effort, has been in the research regarding the best way of using
syrups in the feeding of cattle and pigs and also the use of sugar in
poultry meat production.

Cuba had some experience in that field. Some production had been carried
out in that field on the basis of syrup and urea, but there was research
lacking on the appropriate amounts of consumption of syrup, the amounts of
urea, the problems that might arise in the metabolism of the syrup and the
waste that might occur in the other components of the diet, what percentage
of syrup cold be given livestock nourished with pasturage, or the
innovations--such as was the preparing of the diet mainly on the basis of
syrup and with a minimum of pasturage.

We believe progress, much progress, was made in that field, and it began to
be, in part, a beginning of correct orientation when sugarcane began to be
seen as a plant capable of seriously contributing to animal nutrition.
Ideas about corn began to be abandoned a little, and nutrition on the basis
of syrup began to take on more importance.

Of course I have read Dr. Preston's paper in which he sets forth the
importance and the possibilities of the using of sugarcane and syrup in the
feeding of livestock. We agree with that argument. It is a correct
argument, although we do not agree with some of the foundations of his
thesis. I don't know in a way his affirmation that certain "political or
social" circumstances make the application of a technique based on grains
for livestock feeding--if that affirmation refers to another country or if
it refers to our country.

Because I state clearly that there are no "social" obstacles here, nor are
there any "political" obstacles here, to the development of the feeding of
livestock on the basis of corn, if it could be proven that corn could
really solve our problems. But what can indeed be proven--and we haven't
the slightest doubt--is that corn is not the solution to our current
problems, and that a lot of time will have to elapse before it could become

In the first place, varieties and techniques will have to be developed and
solutions will have to be found in order to make an hectare of corn capable
of producing the nutrients that a hectare of cane produces. Let it suffice
to say that of all the plants known up to now, cane is one that has the
greatest capacity of assimilating sunlight and converting it into

It is the one that has the greatest capacity. Let is suffice to say that
with the techniques known in our country, with irrigation and with the
adequate amounts of fertilization, with appropriate varieties that exist in
our country, it is perfectly possible to obtain approximately 19 tons of
whole syrup per hectare per year with sugarcane; and that it produces,
furthermore, the leaf, and the shoot--which is the green part of the plant.
It also produces the husk, which has many uses and which will have sues of
great economic importance for our country in the future.

I don't think anyone has ever, not even with the best hybrids--nor do I
think the institute has ever, under the best conditions of magnificent
lands under irrigation--gotten more than 5 tons of corn per hectare. And
this forces one to break up the land constantly and seed it. It is not like
cane, which is planted and can grow for 2 years and which once it reaches a
certain development needs not be weeded, because the weed need to be cut
just once every 2 years, and one obtains approximately 38 tons of whole
syrups per hectare in 2 years. And that's why I said approximately 19 tons
of nutrients per hectare per year, with an energy content practically equal
to that of corn, leaving aside the meager quantities of proteins that corn
possesses. And that, naturally, there is no doubt that an hectare of cane
can be produce for our country four or five times what the best corn
planted and harvested in Cuba can produce. That is the comparison between
cane and corn.

Now, also, sugarcane has syrup as a byproduct-the byproduct after sugar has
been produced--in certain proportions for example, for a production of 10
million tons of sugar, there will be approximately 3 and half million tons
of syrup. But the use of sugarcane directly for the production of syrups
for the feeding of livestock is also being contemplated, or can be
contemplated, and our country is contemplating the use of cane in this
manner in the future. Because if a fixed area of 1,700,000 physical
hectares is assigned to cane, the production of sugarcane will
progressively increase to the point that irrigation becomes more
widespread, that the conditions under which sugarcane is cultivated change,
and through the increase of production per hectare.

So that by 1980, the country, in the 1,700,000 hectares that will be
assigned to cane out of the total area of our island, will be able to
produce cane for 10 million tons of sugar and enough cane to produce
another 10 million tons of sugar [as received]

However, we are not planning to produce 20 million tons of sugar. We are
planning to keep the production of sugar at a reasonable level, in
accordance with the needs of the markets and, however, earmark the extra
quantities of cane for the feeding of livestock so that our country will be
able to have 14 to 15 million tons of syrup at its disposal in 1980,
besides the 10 million tons of sugar.

To those ends, it will be necessary to broaden the country's cane industry
in the next few years. And we see, in this resource, the nutritional
supplement for our livestock. But, of course, the reason for this policy is
that up to now, as a nutritional supplement for the production of milk and
meat, cane surpasses any other plant that we can use in our country.

I will explain later why I say "nutritional supplement," because from cane
and syrup come not only calories by also proteins. And we in our country
possess a torulous plant which converts from 4 to 5 tons of final syrup
into a ton of torulous yeast that is 55 percent protein.

So cane is--it can be easily understood--the plant adapted to our climate
in which we have the greatest experience--which constitutes our corn, our
sorghum, our soya--that is, which is capable of serving to feed cattle,
pigs, and poultry, using syrup, sugar, yeast obtained through a process of
fermentation, and set quantities of proteins of animal origin. On that
basis is conceived, basically, in the future, our production of pigs, and
poultry, and in cattle raising, as a supplement to pasturage.

It is not because "sugar does not constitute," as Dr Preston affirms, "a
product of prime necessity for man;s diet, nor an article of luxury, nor
because social opinion demands a graceful slimness of woman and the growing
number of experiments associated sugar with heart trouble," the reason why
we should devote cane to cattle and not to producing sugar, is because it
is better business to devote it to livestock than to sugar, according to
his argument.

We cannot accept this statement in this congress, and I say so here with
all due respect, and, furthermore, I say it with deep pain, because it is a
clearly European argument. The problem of the slimness of women is valid in
England, France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and many countries where the
needs and the consumption of sugar are saturated; but this argument is not
valid in Asia and in Africa and in Latin America, nor can it be applied to
thousands of millions of persons in the world who are consuming less than 5
kilograms of sugar per capita per year, who are suffering from
malnutrition, who are suffering from an insufficiency of proteins and
calories and who are the reason for which, in many of these areas, life
expectancy does not reach 30 years.

And actually, we belong to that underdeveloped world and we identify with
its needs [applause] and we are very much aware tat, unfortunately, there
is not an overabundance--and it will be many years before there is an
overabundance--of sugar in the world.

I do not defend this thesis like the capitalists defended it in the past.
They took offense and they insulted each other when someone touched their
sugar. We have a broad market for sugar. All our sugar for internal and
external use is sold, and even more sugar than we can produce and the 10
million tons of sugar are sold. There is a [word indistinct] them. And many
times sugar becomes, through exchange, wheat. And our sugar also become, in
the same way, corn.

Our climate conditions are those of a sugar-growing and not of a cereal
producing country. Those countries with large tracts of land can be cereal
producers; so can those which, reaching the highest productivity per man by
using machines, are able to work these large tracts of land for the
production of wheat and corn. Our country has a limited surface and lacks
the natural conditions for cereals and, therefore, must look for crops
which will yield the highest value per hectare. It would be impossible to
compare corn with any of the many crops which, because of our natural
conditions, have an economic value per hectare four or five times higher
than the U.S. average for corn.

Our country has no spare land; it is neither Australia, nor Canada, nor the
United States, nor Argentina, just to mention some countries. It is a
relatively small country which must seek the highest productivity per man,
that is true, but his must be combined with the highest productivity per
hectare. Sugarcane is one of the crops which, whether we convert it into
sugar molasses, would have a high economic value for us and a high
productivity per hectare which in turn is more in accord without tradition
and our industrial and agricultural experience.

So, logically, that is the reason why we, seeing that the industrial cane
products can be used as compliments to the diet of our cattle, concentrate
on sugarcane, after filling the market demands, in order to produce the
dietary compliment for our livestock, be they horned cattle, hogs or fowl.
This is the basic reason; there could be no other reason. Under no
circumstances could it be a problem of the willowly appearance of European
woman. Anyway, I must refute this theory of slimness because Cuban women
are well-known as slender and elegant and they have one of the highest per
capita consumption of sugar in the world [applause].

I do believe, that you understand perfectly well our duty, as I said
before, to try to orient ourselves and to work for a clarification of some
matters. And all of you will think, or will have reason to think, that this
is not impertinent on our part. For if we are going to take our visitors
seriously, and if we are to take science seriously, then it is our duty to
expound matters, not in a sectarian spirit, not be seeing a scientific
microcosm, but by seeing the whole of reality, by having a world view of
all the problems of humanity and of man and of our country!

Under no circumstances do I wish to sue political phrases. You may have
noticed that I am trying to avoid anything which might be classified here
as political. The purpose of this event is not to agitate. I do not want to
introduce political, arguments here among persons who could have different
political convictions. I do want to present rational arguments; I want to
present objective arguments. And I believe that these rational and
objective arguments are applicable in one country as well as in others. The
fact that some countries cannot apply them is a tragedy. But for us,
rational things are possible--what good fortune! We are in a position to do
truly rational things for our country's benefit. In passing, I would like
to mention that I believe that those rational things, those solutions which
we discover or apply here, could similarly be applied elsewhere where the
conditions are the same as in our country.

Permit us to say that, along with the desire to solve our country's
problems, we also harbor the noble purpose of being modestly useful in one
way or another to the many people of the world whose problems are very
similar to ours. Just look at an atlas and you will see where there is
hunger in the world or where there is undernourishment and poverty! And we,
whose lot it was to live in a climate of this type under conditions similar
to those of many other peoples, can afford also to harbor this sentiment
(?of appreciation) for what we have accomplished, which is not the product
of an egotistical nationalism or of an egotistical people who think of
solving only their own problems, but of a people who aspire to things which
are useful and positive in order that (?these) may also be useful and
positive for other countries.

It was perfectly easy to discern that feed carried little weight at this
congress. Millet and corn received much attention. But how many papers have
been presented here on feed? How many reports leading to research on which
is the best kind of feed there is, or which among the many varieties of
feed are best studied for the conditions of our climate? Or what are the
ideal levels of fertilization, can one hectare hold? Feed for us at this
time means the magnificent possibility that our herds may reach the stage
of working for man and not man working for the herd. Man must do a certain
amount of the work for the herd help man. The fact is that our country must
still cut tens of millions of tons of sugarcane by hand each year because
we lack the machinery to do it.

Logically, then, our main objective must be to mechanize the planting and
harvesting of sugarcane, first of all; before mechanizing the hypothetical
corn, we must mechanize the planting and harvesting of cane. We must
dedicate many resources to this end so that we might free hundreds of
thousands of hands which can then be used for the industrial and social
development of our country. Today sugarcane uses the bulk of our machinery
and will use the bulk of our mechanization resources in the coming years.

Logically, then, we must not mortgage ourselves seeking a way of producing
meat, which is more costly, requires larger investments and additional
amounts of machinery when we can utilize grazing perfectly well. We should
have done intensive and profound research on grazing techniques at the
institute of animal science. We should have done intensive research on
grazing, on the productivity of our grazing lands, on meat production, and
especially on milk production. Because you must have noticed, too, that
milk is practically ignored in animal science research.

What I say is true: Look over the program; look over all the works and you
will see that much more attention is paid to meat because of the
concentration on the hypothetical exports of meat, while the milk demand in
our country is (?yet to be) met. This is so because, if we want to give our
people 1 liter of milk per capita, we must produce 8 million liters of milk
daily. And before we even think of exporting meat, we must think about
ceasing the import of milk. Our country to maintain a level of milk
consumption by all children and all old persons, and a small quota of milk
for the population, must spend millions every year in importing milk. And
we should have thought about solving the problem of milk. Yet milk was
given scant attention, as were grazing and feed, at the Institute of Animal

Honesty forces us to clear up these points, honesty forces us to tell these
truths. We could simple keep quiet without even pretending to have great
successes, or to praise the wonderful work done by the institution, when we
simply have a lot of weak spots.

Certainly, criticize ourselves. And doing so, I consider myself one of the
most responsible, one of the most guilty. I have had so much to do with it,
that I have taken interest in the problems of agricultural investigations;
we had great hopes in the institute. Its success would have reached the
Cuban revolutionaries quite deeply, as well as the Cuban Government. But we
must say that we cannot magnify or boast of having attained great success,
when the investigations on the science of animal husbandry have, along with
success, gone through great deficiencies, and the investigations on milk
have occupied a small area.

But I going to show even more. I am going to show how that incorrect
orientation, that underestimation of the importance of milk, influenced the
investigations. And something even more incredible: it influenced the

Before continuing, I must say that, since last year, the comrades of the
institution had been wanting to hold this congress. And we were afraid of
this congress. [Unreadable text] requested them not to, not to hold it last
year, because we had too much work in [Unreadable text] fields and we had
too little to show. And, at last, we were able to convince them to postpone
it till this year.

Even this year, we were not in favor of the congress, we were not. But
truly [Unreadable text] our fears. The country is presently engaged in the
big task: in preparation of the 1970 sugarcane harvest of 10 million and,
in the planting of all the sugarcane, in the collecting, in the
cultivation, an the fertilizations and in concluding of the present harvest
during an early spring.

Our country is involved in a huge plant for hydraulic, drainage, and
irrigation. As I spoke to you in the beginning that it did not exist in our
country, I can now say that, in a period of time no greater than 5 years,
the great majority of the farm land of this country will be under

One thing I can tell you is that, this year, some 2 billion cubic meters of
water will be used for irrigation, and that next year another 3 billion
cubic meters of water will be used; that the hydraulic studies are
considerably advanced; that 10,000 pieces of equipment will be operating in
this country, building roads, channels, water ponds, irrigation systems and
drilling wells, just to solve one of this country's natural inconveniences,
the periodic draughts which create so many difficulties to our agriculture.
Some 10,000 pieces of equipment--and more than 60,000 workers with the
equipment--are working on all areas of that plan.

We are involved in a huge workload which calls for the time and energy of
the comrades working in the field of agriculture. But the congress was
held. I do not know why it came out into the open here, (?and it was shown
that the congress had not been what it had been planned for it to be). And
that was exactly what happened, the congress has not been what the
organizers had in mind.

First, we started thinking of holding a congress every year, which I think
is absurd. Can we possibly apologize for having gone as far as organizing
one today, when we are just starting? Then, how are we going to speak of
one every year?

Second, all those agencies working on agriculture carry our research, and
animal husbandry is not the only agency which conducts research. (?There is
other research performed.) No one has designated animal husbandry as the
god of agriculture research. This is being carried out by our universities;
many other institutions of our country are doing research. And logically,
certain problems of treatment, a number of unknown and inconsiderate things
gave way so other comrades of other agencies felt hurt. They felt hurt, ill
treated, even an number of programmed works were rejected. They say
themselves as the victims of underestimation, and as a result, simply
declined to collaborate.

But here, at the inauguration of this event, Dr Preston spoke and said that
it was not what is was supposed to be, and that he did not agree. If that
problem was approached here, permit us to have the same right and present
you an explanation of what really happened.

Another comrade, during the inaugural speech--at the time, the
representative of the Cuban side spoke of incomprehensiveness, of "a burden
on science," and many more things. We receive part of that blame because
the comrade who was speaking was doing so as the government's
representative in the institution. I imagine that some of you asked
yourselves: But, what is this? What burdens are those? What
incomprehensions are those? Which are those problems, and why, at the
congress inauguration, are these things brought up?

Anyway, they were brought up. And if they were brought up for the
inauguration, they must also be brought up for the closing. In one of the
speeches it was said that the political side ended and science started. I
do not really know how our side can be determined: of science, of politics
or even--maybe worse for some--a conscience of politics, which is a mean
thing. Of course, I do not know the difference between science and politics
unless it is that politics, besides being a science, is an art.

I sincerely believe that politics can be at the service of good or of evil.
If it is at the service of good, then it is revolutionary politics. In the
same way, science can be at the service of good or evil. If it is at the
service of good, it can be said that it is a human, noble, revolutionary
science. Also, if science--as it has done many times--takes ups sides with
evil, with war, with destruction, then we would have to refer to that
science as a science at the service of politics and of the worst kind, at
the service of crime.

We really do not know how to distinguish between our science and another.
Because, without the science of a people that has been capable of attaining
freedom; without the science of a people that has been capable of making
its own revolution; without the science of a people that has been capable
of resisting the blockade while facing a very powerful enemy, an enemy that
underestimated us, that despised us, that though that kicking us would have
been enough to throw away the work of the revolution of our people, that it
would smash it; without that science, there would not be any animal
husbandry institute; without that science, there would be no research. And
it is justified if we take science and put it in its place and honor it and
support it. Then, there would be no need to make any distinctions between
science and politics. But, also, there is the science of truth, without
pretensions of any kind. These topics and these problems were approached
here. Then, it would be logic for these topics and these problems to be
sufficiently clear.

Matters went further, because other institutions were unnecessarily,
gratuitously offended; other institutions were harmed. Why say that if here
at the first congress held in this country, as though we were a kind of
Siboneys [yokels] or something like it, a backward people; at the first
scientific congress in this country the chairman of the session, who was in
fact the comrade president of the science academy and therefore presiding
at the session, was reading a newspaper. And you may see what kind of a
congress it was where the president of that institution was reading a
newspaper. What need was there to cause this harm, to bring about this
(?contretemps), and on top of that to publish that the Cubans must learn to
conduct themselves properly in an international congress; that we learn to
behave at such time as we might abroad. We are in a fine fix if Cubans
learn to act that way at an international congress, beginning by offending
the country where the congress is being held, by offending the host
persons. These things lamentably happened and they could not be overlooked,
and pass unashamedly.

Strange things happened at this congress, this historic congress. [He finds
documents] I am going to step into a technical field, if you will permit
me. And if you do not set a time limit of 12 minutes, I can speak to you of
some things which affect the subject of this congress.

I was telling you that our main problem and our question was the following:
How are we going to solve the milk problem in this country? And how are we
going to solve it if we do not have milk cows? You may say: "Well, wait
until the cows multiply; wait until the Greek calends for milk cows to
milk; in the meantime import milk, if you can," Or you may say: "Import
hundreds of thousands of purebred Holstein cows." This country can buy
livestock in very few places. It must be carried in ships, specially
adapted ships. It must acclimatize them, with all the problems that
involves. Nevertheless there were years when 2,000, 3,000 cows were
imported by making tremendous efforts. But we did not solve the problem. We
had to find a solution.

We had various purebred dairy herds. They were expected; herds of other
dairy breeds were imported which formerly were nonexistent; they were
tested. They were not outstandingly [sarcastic tone] scientific tests, but
there were tests to crossbreed a sufficient number of animals and prove
them under our conditions of feeding, in our pastures, and observe the
results. Further, the cattle we had in the greatest amount were Holstein,
and we began to crossbreed when we had enough indices for mass crossing
Holstein with Zebu. We also crossed Brown Swiss as much as possible,
Hersey, Shorthorn, Red Polled, Ayrshire--forgive me if my English is not
pure--and all the dairy breeds were crossed, so that there are now many
crossbreeds and much milk production, and we have crossed all other
animals. We have hybrids of all dairy breeds crossed with Zebu. We have
been able to test, and fortunately we know what the only road is under
these circumstances, so that the country can have milk. But besides that we
have a half million heads of F One produced by crossing Holstein mostly
with Zebu. A half million which will produce in the next 2 years, and will
quadruple Cuba's milk production.

We partly agree with Doctor Willis' statement that genetics alone is not
fundamental to milk production; that cattle feeding must be solved. Very
correct. We do not agree with Doctor Willy, with his assertion that
genetics is not so important, and I say that he can improve all the feed he
wants, the best feed, and let us see how much milk he can get from a Zebu
cow. If the dairy potential is nonexistent in a cow--and we can obtain it
only by these crossings--then there will be no milk with every meal.

As far as we are concerned, breeding is indeed important. We understood
this clearly. For that reason, unfortunately, we know that some
technicians, including Doctor Willis, accuse me of being director of
stockbreeding in Cuba. Where have we seen prime ministers being busy with
that? I know nothing about it, making them mostly right. I do not deny it,
but I am watchful of an interest which is this people's interest.
[applause] I certainly do not think that it is an error, a crime, to be
concerned with these problems in our responsibility to the people. We try
to study, to learn, even if it is a little; and we try to find solutions--a
sorrowful need for our country where scientists are few, where technicians
are few--and were we men who are charged with finding solutions to these
problems often do not even have the correct advice to find the solution.

We are not intruders in the field of science and stockbreeding. We are men
forced by circumstance to search for solutions, and we never cease
listening to anyone who can supply us with something reasonable, something
clear. We do not presume to be scientists. It would be absurd.
Unfortunately the countries obligations we have in many directions would
prevent us utterly from devoting ourselves to that hypothetical aspiration.

We aspire to have a minimum of knowledge, so as to evaluate the reports, or
the theses, or the advice which may be given us. One cannot (?expect)
scientific rulers, that is, specialized in one science as in antiquity.
Plato's ideal man studied all his life to learn a little of everything, or
all of the little known, so that he could devote himself to the tasks of
governing. But that obligation of any man with a public trust, trying to
have a minimum of knowledge to evaluate what scientists, technicians, and
specialists can indicate to him in one sense or another.

The nation has taken the path of massive crossing of a dairy cattle breed
with Zebu in order to produce hybrids known as F-1 and achieve a mass herd
with a milk-producing potential

Now then, this is amazing--a paper was presented here--I think this is one
of the essential questions and it is a thesis which I am willing to discuss
with anybody, to submit it to a panel of scientists, to discuss it with
them as much as they want, with any evidence deemed necessary, with Drs
Preston and Willis, this thesis presented to the congress about Holstein
and Zebu hybrids.

I am not a scientist, but I have such overwhelming evidence that not even a
scientist of the highest caliber could ever really defend this thesis. In
short, the thesis presented at this congress and which was sponsored by Drs
Preston and Willis, is the test showing comparative production by breeds
between Holstein and the Hybrid of Holstein with Zebu. Results: Effects on
the breed--five errors, 15 animals from one, 15 from another; age at
calving--27.5 for Holsteins, 24 for the F-1; production of milk--1961 for
Holsteins, 370 from F-1; butterfat--3.1 for the Holsteins, 3.3 for the
F-1's; duration of lactation--350 days for Holsteins, 72 for the F-1's;
cows running dry after 100 days--Holsteins, none; F-1 80 percent.

This was presented here even though it was called an "interim" [thesis]. I
would not dare to present something as interim unless it had a minimum of
conclusiveness about its validity. It is not a question of presenting
papers for the sake of presenting. This thesis was presented by a comrade
and sponsored by the top geneticist of the institution and by the director
of the institution.

Now then, can this thesis be upheld? No, it cannot be upheld. Can it be
researched and established? Yes, the character of this paper, the error
encompassed in this paper, the fallaciousness encompassed in this paper,
the misinformation encompassed in this paper for livestock breeders in this
country and for those who work in animal husbandry, for the ones who have a
half million F-1 cows, can be researched and established.

Now then, is the question perhaps that I am disgusted because research has
been undertaken which grates against reality? No. I am really disgusted at
the fact that a paper was presented which is a negation of reality. If it
is said that technicians will judge the papers and their value, here are
the technicians. Actually, I am not asking you to believe me. I have not
right, no degree, to ask you to believe me, to ask the technicians to
believe me. I cannot ask Cubans who know that we have not truck with lies
or demagogy. But I can say that I have no right other than to submit the
facts to a test. I think this is very important because a Latin America has
tens of millions of head of this type of cattle. Other nations have
hundreds of millions and I ask, how can they solve the milk supply problem
if they are, in fact, not taking that path. If one seeks an adequate and
correct, rapid, and urgent solution to the problem because hungry stomachs
cannot wait forever for a solution, what does reality, what do the facts
tell us?

In a national genetic program, not just with 15 cows, but working with a
large herd of animals, what was shown in a paper presented here to counter
these facts? What was defended and upheld in a polemic about the why, the
way of the phenomenon? Nobody thought about asking himself, was this true
or not. There were not questions about why that took place. Whether or not
it was because the calf was taken from the cow too soon, or whether or not
the Zebu was given to it or the lack of a milk-producing temperament in the
Zebu; that when the calf was taken away, the cow would dry up before the
100 days.

Sincerely, I was sorry to see this, that in a congress this was part of a
concrete topic. I am not saying that all the other topics were the same. I
am not saying this because I have to say in all honesty that magnificent
exhibits were shown here. I do say that I was sorry regarding this topic,
that the congress should have dwelled on this kind of polemic.

What was the production of an F-1 group in a test run by the National
Genetic Administration DNG? In other words, the National Genetic
Administration has farms in various locations. A similar phenomenon has
occurred everywhere.

For instance, in Cartagena, Las Villas, the average milk production per cow
is 2,723 liters, from F-1, first lactation; butterfat 365 [presumably
kilograms]. Relationship: the average milk production of the other group is
2,459 liters per cow; butterfat, 384. Lactation days in the first group
273; lactation days in the second group 294. In the first group, maximum,
381, minimum, 195 days. In the second group, maximum 448, minimum 172.
Average butterfat production, 97 kilograms.

Now then, milk production in the Animal Husbandry Institute (ICA) was 370
[liters]; milk in both genetic centers, 2,591. The difference is
overwhelming, too great to go unnoticed. Butterfat, ICA test, 11.1,
butterfat, DNG test, 97 kilograms. Butterfat percentage, ICA test, it says
three here, I do not remember if 3.3 appeared there. Butterfat percentage,
DNG test, 3.64. Duration of lactation according to ICA test, 72 days; DNG
test, 283 days.

Now the, a phenomenon, the thesis defended here and which they try to
justify because of its Zebu offspring, is that the cows lactation period
was short and then went dry. What do all the DNG data show? Simply the
parameters of the dairy livestock For the first month, 14.1 of the overall
production. Among the F-1's it was 12.4. Second month, 14.1; F-1's, 12.4.
Third month, 12.7, normal parameter; F-1's, 11.6. Fourth month, dairy
cattle, 11.4; F-1's, 10.9. Fifth month, diary cattle, 10.2; F-1's, 10.7.
Sixth month, dairy cattle, 9.3; F-1's, 9.8. Seventh month, dairy cattle,
8.3 percentage of overall production; F-1's, in the seventh month, 9.2.
Eighth month, normal cattle, 7.4, F-1's, 8.9. Ninth month, normal dairy
cattle, 6.7; F-1's, 7.6. Tenth month, diary cattle, 6; F-1's, 6.5. The
facts show that F-1's under our country's conditions in the last months
produce a higher percentage of its overall production, over and above what
is produced in the last months by typical dairy cattle. Yet the thesis was
upheld here that the cows would dry up before the 100 days.

Now then, there is even more interesting data: Here we have two groups, a
total of 199 animals. They have not concluded their lactation and they are
scarcely halfway through their lactation period. They are not offspring of
a single bull, but of 1w different bulls. Now to the data, at 143 days,
their average milk production is 9.1 and they have produced 1,303.7
kilograms per cow from the F-1, first lactation.

Now here is a group of animals about which I have plenty of information
because they were among the first crossing made. I have witnessed the
progress of the entire program. I know it quite well because in fact it
helped up to understand this problem.

Here is a group of 45 F-1 cows. Here they are according to name, number;
all these cows actually exist and are producing milk now. You can go over
to them and see for yourselves if you have any doubt. You can see how the
records were compiled, how these results were obtained, and what there
basis is. All these centers are at the disposal of all our great
researchers in our country.

Here we have a lot of 45 cows, F-1, Zebu-Holstein. Analyzing their first
lactation, we can note the following: 37 of the 45 cows have reached their
244th day of lactation. Of these, 10 are still producing, which is 82.2
percent of the total females. In the ICA test, 72 days. Twenty of the 45
cows reached 305 days of lactation. Of these, 7 are still producing. This
is 44.4 percent of the total cows. The average age at calving was 28
months. Hence, they were bred at an average of 19 months. The interval
between the (?breeding) age and calving runs between 25 and 34 months.
Average lactation days totals 284, including those that are still in
lactation and those that went dry prematurely. Not 72 but four times more.
These are not subtle, small, and insignificant differences.

We have to consider that several of these cows went dry prematurely because
they were again pregnant. Average production figures achieved are: 45 cows
in lactation, 11.8 kilograms per cow, with an average production of 3.352
kilograms in lactation, including the cows which dried up prematurely. The
total daily average production per cow of the 37 cows in 244 days of
lactation is 13 kilograms; 3,168.3 kilograms during the period. Twenty cows
which achieved 305 days of lactation produced 13.1 kilograms or 3,995.7
kilograms for the entire period.

Number of cows which did not reach 100 days of lactation: Four, or 8.9
percent. At the ICA test, 80 percent did not do so. Number of cows which
went dry between 100 and 190 days: 1, or 2.2 percent. Number of cows which
produced between 200 and 300 days: 19, or 42.2 percent; between 300 and 399
days, 18, or 40 percent; 400 or more days, 3, or 6.7 percent. We infer from
this that 88.9 percent of the animals exceed 199 days for an average
production of 3,708.3 kilograms of milk. It is really worthwhile
contrasting these figures with the five ICA test results. Butterfat
production: 4.1 after 240 days.

Now then, here are the cows that went dry and did not reach the 100 days: 4
cows. Their names are even here. One is called Elsa; others are called
Victoria, Claudia, and one was named after an entertainer. I am not going
to mention her name so she will not get angry. A fifth cow named Polvasera
produced for 182 days.

I mention their names because of what happened to them during the second
lactation. We will see what happened with the ones which dried up first and
those that did not dry now. Now then, in the first lactation, out of 45
cows, only 7 produced less than 2,000 kilograms. The ICA average was 370
kilograms. Thirty-nine out of 45 produced more than 2,000 kilograms, 84
percent. Twenty-five out of 45 produced more than 3,000 kilograms, 55
percent. Sixteen out of 45 produced more than 4,000 kilograms, 35 percent.
Eight out of 45 produced more than 5,000 kilograms, 17 percent. In other
words, 8 out of 45 exceeded 5,000 kilograms. Only seven out of 45 produced
less than 2,000.

More cows produced over 5,000 kilograms than those who produced more than
6,000 kilograms of milk, and one of the cows still giving milk is about to
achieve the figure of 7,000 kilograms of milk.

Naturally, this herd produced a little more. It exceeded 3,000 kilograms.
But the rest of the herds have all exceeded 2,500 kilograms. What happened
during the second lactation? Two of the cows that died up prematurely again
dried up during the second lactation. In other words, two out of three,
Victoria and Polvasera, dried up again and showed themselves to be poor
producers and [decreased] the rest of them. I say the others meaning that
there are 22 already in their second lactation. The other 20, excluding the
two that dried up, have produced as of the moment an average of 360 days
between calvings. This proves the reproductive capacity of these animals:
360 days between calvings, and this average is maintained.

In the second lactation, 20 of these cows, there were 22 since two were
culled, are between 158 and 8 days. The ones with the most time in
lactation have 158 days and the ones with the least time have 8 days. The
production average for these 20 cows, the cumulative average is 19.5
kilograms. During the last week of 5 and 11 May, the average was 18.5. In
our judgment, this lot of cows will average between 4,000 and 4,500 liters
of milk.

Hence, by culling one of every 10--a selection is always made from any
dairy herd producing an average of more than 15 liters--we can obtain
average mild productions almost equal to the average production in the
Netherlands, a country in a temperate zone with a livestock-raising
tradition. The F-1, the crossing of Zebu with Holstein in the second
lactation, can achieve an average production between 4,000 and 4,500
kilograms, culling one out of every 10. And their average butterfat
production will be no less than 4 percent.

We might say that cow lots of imported registered Holsteins in prime
condition will average this quantity in the first lactation. A lot made up
of imported, registered, selected young cows milked three times a day, is
producing approximately this quantity. A lot made up of cows which have not
been selected, from which one out of every 10 has been culled, will produce
a similar quantity in the second lactation when milked twice daily. These
are things that can be seen, can be observed by the participants of this

What factors then could have determined--certainly I do not think that it
was deliberate, dishonest thing--but what factors entered into ICA's
presentation of this kind of paper, misleading, false,and confused? It is
simply subjectivism. It is subjectivism which has led to more than one
error in research.

Here are some facts. A paper was presented by Doctor Willy here about the
mortality of the various breeds. Doctor Willy wanted to show that European
breeds can excel Brahmas under tropical conditions. How did he show this? A
herd of 30 Saint Gertrudis, 30 Creole, and 30 Charolais, and the outcome of
the test was that the morality of the high-grade Zebu at ICA was 9.6. Yet,
at DNG, the high grade Zebu mortality among 1,833 calves was 3.61. One
third of the deaths was in ICA. In commercial Zebu, the morality rate was
2.78. Saint Gertrudis, 6.09, at ICA it was six. These are the only two
figures which coincide.

Mortality of Charolais, at DNG, 6.77; at ICA it was 3.5. This is a European
breed and less die at ICA, more die at DNG. A test on Creole cattle was not
run [at DNG] at ICA, 6.6; F-1 on Zebu-Holstein, 2.48. Zebu-Brown Swiss,
2.63. Zebu-Shorthorn, 2.31. Zebu-Charolais, 2.83. Zebu-South Devon, 1.54.

Now then, how many animals were used in the ICA test? A few dozen. And here
at the DNG] 1.833, 1.745, 1.895 [as heard] Saint Gertrudis. In short, with
thousands of animals. The hypothesis remains to be demonstrated that
regardless of the defects of Brahmas, they turn out to be less resistant to
climatic conditions that Charolais.

There is another phenomenon, another fact: the percentage of births in
which an attempt is made to demonstrate the superiority of Charolais under
our climatic conditions. At DNG centers, out of 234 cows, 62.2 [percent]
were bred with 2.1 inseminations per pregnancy. Among the Saint Gertrudis,
out of 3,059 cows, 65.5 with 3.2 insemimations per pregnancy. Among Zebu,
out of 1,175, 55.1 with 2.5 inseminations per pregnancy. Among Charolais,
out of 796 cows, 52.5 with four inseminations per pregnancy. ICA results:
52.5 with Charolais. This was the top reproductive capacity. Here, [At DNG
centers] in thousands of animals, although in this case it is 796 cows, it
turned out that Charolais was the breed with the least reproductive

Of course, we have Charolais stock here. The researcher himself concedes it
quality. We ought to be very glad if these results were so because it is
legitimate; it is a stock which we have been maintaining and developing in
our country. But for the sake of reality, it certainly cannot be said now
that Charolais is more fertile than Brahma. Of course, even though
thousands of animals are involved here, a final answer cannot be given yet.
It could not be given. We would still have to analyze the factors which
could be affecting this fact. As for the rest, it is noted that Zebu
fertility is low. However, F-1, the hybrid of Holstein and Zebu, has high
reproduct: capacity, a high percentage of pregnancies, and a minimum
mortality rate. However, data was recorded at DNG for the calves for 6
months and at ICA for 3 months. It is true that deaths occur mainly during
the first 3 months. It is true that deaths occur mainly during the first 3
months but there are always some deaths between 3 and 6 months and these
records on mortality were made at 6 months.

In short, it is unquestionable that subjective-type factors have influenced
research. Here is the data. Doctor Willis presented another thesis, that
the resistance capacity of Zebu cattle is the consequence of its productive
incapacity. And with all dude respect, we do not concur with this view. I
think that if we casually take off from this axiom, this dogma, we would
cease to seek, something which in our judgment we have to seek, to research
the factors which make Zebu cattle resistant to heat, to certain insects;
factors which exist and have to be researched.

The question, simply, is to try to find hybrid combinations, including the
possibility of genetically developing some types of cattle with those
characteristics which makes Zebu cattle resistant to our climate together
with the characteristics which make dairy breeds more productive. The F-1
is good proof of this.

What policy are we following? We are crossing with Holsteins again, but we
are not doing this to maintain hybrid vigor. Simply, our policy is to
continue to crossbreed with purebred stock to increase the herd of purebred
animals and later to seek a hybrid in the same way that we sought it from
the Zebu cow and the Holstein bull and in the future seek the hybrid of the
Zebu bull and the Holstein cow.

A very interesting fact has come to light from the crossbreeding that has
taken place: The offspring of the Holstein cow and Zebu bull has much more
strength and vigor than the offspring of the Holstein male and the Zebu
cow. You can witness this in animals which have attained a weight of 1,300
pounds in 1 year; sons and daughters of Zebu bulls and Holstein cows.

The country proposes to develop new breeds, if possible. We agree with
Willis' thesis referring to the importance of hybrid vigor, the importance
of heterosis in crossbreeding, and his thesis of maintaining heterosis in
finding animals with better strains. We are not opposed to that thesis,
because it is our policy to seek the production of mean through dairy
animals. Gentlemen in this country suggest that we have millions of range
cattle to produce beef. It is our understanding that our interests are
served by developing dairy animals at such time as the herds are massive,
because our herds are now growing. The dams are not sacrificed, and the
number of heads grows.

In the future we shall produce beef by inseminating approximately
two-thirds of the herds with beef animals, and the rest with dairy animals.
That is, we shall try to replace the purebreds. We have known for a long
time that no animal can surpass the F-1. Therefore, we now seek Zebu bulls
or Holstein cows. In the future we hope to have roughly 30 percent
purebreds and about 70 percent hybrids. That is so because we understand
that no other animal at this time can outclass the F-1 under our climate

We have all the other crosses of Holstein and Zebu; not many but the number
is growing. They are entering their first lactation en masse. In the same
manner we are working on crossing all beef types, including all the
European breeds we have been able to import. Indeed, I think that dogmas
aside, one must test, research; if one begins with a dogma that Zebu [words
indistinct] cannot stand up, then we shall not follow that direction. But
if we had asked the ICA, "Gentlemen researchers, how do we solve the milk
problem?" There would still be no other answer that this: "The F-1 dries up
in 72 days, and produces 370 liters of milk, exactly the milk given by a
Zebu." The moral is: "Give up hope for long years of having milk in this

This problem is not a small one. It is of concern to us, and to the
scientists and researchers in order to answer the most anxious question of
our times. How will billions of human beings who live in the underdeveloped
areas of the world be fed? What will be the answer to the question of how
the milk problem will be solved? We do not say that our word is final and
definitive. But we do explain what our hope of solving it is based on, on
what fact it rests, and in our judgment it is the best solution known so
far--a solution which is the very opposite of the thesis presented here
about the comparison of the F-1 with the purebred, about the comparison in
productivity by these two breeds.

We must say that aside from these discrepancies, this congress has
presented very thorough work; unfortunately we cannot see them all because
obviously we do not have copies of the work and the discussions from one
moment to the next; they are a sizable number. We must say that we consider
the studies presented by various researchers to be thorough. We admit that
it is appropriate to say also that the research presented here by Doctor
Preston on the use of molasses in the feeding of beef cattles appeared to
be thorough. We must recognize honestly that they have done responsible
research, useful to the country. We must also say that some other papers
presented by Willis regarding meat productivity, meat quality, of the
various breeds are of interest, that we followed this research with
interest, and that we were interested in his conclusion on native

I call his attention to the fact that there was no hybrid between the
native stock and the Zebu, and it is logical because what is good in the
native stock, descended from the little cows brought by the Spaniards, is
that it has of Zebu blood. Therefore, all the other breeds produced F-1 of
great hybrid vigor, and this vigor was not produced in native stock with
Zebu because the good [qualities] and resistance in the native stock was
inherited from the Zebu in the first place.

We do not hold dogmatic positions on any of these exceptions, but we do
believe that the comrades working with livestock who are present here
should not leave with the impression that they worked for no purpose. It
they could only say we have worked in vain, and let us begin again, but it
is not that way. There are many comrades here to whom we have shown the
results on breeding farms; the results in dozens of dairies are the same.
Production put an average of nine liters; fed with grass feed containing no
concentrate. We have heard here about interesting experiments on molasses,
the use of molasses with yeast. It is correct as an experiment, but it will
not be a solution for us in the future. We must do it to determine how
molasses behaves and metabolizes in various proportions. It is of interest.

In 1980 our country will have more than 15 million head of cattle. It also
will have millions of head of pigs, a production of eggs, of poultry. If we
use molasses as a dietetic supplement, as a supplement for our cattle which
is fed mostly with feed grass--as we see it now--I think that there will be
a very long stretch before we can justify stabling our cattle herds, and
use thousands, tens of thousands of machines to bring them feed.

Feeding will be basically with grass, and molasses will be the supplement,
with molasses products such as torula, along with some animal protein. Why?
Because although in 1980 we will devote 750 billion arrobas to
sugarcane--the amount needed for the 10 million tons of sugar--cattle will
never be able to take molasses with yeast--our cattle. It simply would not
be enough.

Gentlemen, we must condition our technique to our capabilities, or economic
goals; we are not individual capitalists. We are not limited by markets.
Here we will never pay anyone 370 dollars to slaughter a cow, as is done in
Europe. In Europe they still do not drink more than one liter [of milk] per
capita. We thing that human needs, the best of human needs, will easily
exceed a liter, two liters. We do not have market problems because our
limit is need. Our limit is optimum consumption. We do not have the problem
of domestic markets, or of foreign markets. Therefore, we shall expandour
cattle production to the utmost; we shall devote to cattle raising no less
than 3.2 million hectares which are assigned to it, the immense majority of
them with irrigation, with a density of over five animals per hectare.

Here there was talk of four [animals per hectare] in Holland. If four at
the beginning, Cooper said, or one in the beginning, four now. Gentlemen,
the cattle plans here are for no less than 5.5 animals per hectare. It is
ridiculous, and it has been proved that up to eight animals can be grazed
with irrigation and adequate levels of fertilization. Our climate is
adverse; we had hurricanes, floods, drought. But these factors can be
overcome--weeds--open new land to cultivation. When underbrush is
controlled, when droughts are overcome, no climate can compete with the
tropical one, hectare per hectare. Europe has fewer [detracting] factors to
combat. But they can never count on the amount of light sufficient to
compete with a tropical hectare, in any sense. Compared to corn, we have
sugarcane, pastureland, various kinds of pasture; there will always be some

Our problem will be to reduce to a minimum the production of pasture feed,
between the spring season called the dry period--which will not longer be
dry--but some plants grow more in one season than in another. We are
studying all these problems and I think that it should be fundamental
research in the institute. The institute has not been forbidden to research
milo-corn, all things, sunflowers; in brief, everything. But we hope that
the institute will have a series of important research on pasture, dairy

We will never have a dogmatic position. The ears of the revolution will
always be open to the truth, to the results, to research; they will always
be open to any positive idea. There will never be dogma in this field of
endeavor. And if through corn which we do not want, [dogma appears] some
day we will prove without doubt to all the viewpoints of the revolution
that the road will have no political block. That has disappeared in our
country. There will be no social obstacle, there will be no wilfulness, no
dogmatism. Corn will be accepted. We simply require that solutions convince
us, in reality, in the facts. That is the position of the revolution.

We believe that the ICA has worked hard. We believe that the comrades who
are training have made a great effort. We are sorry to have to raise things
which logically can mean a bit of concern for some persons, a bit of
anguish, but it is our duty.

Many of the papers have drawn or admiration. We have especially admired the
magnificent work of Sutherland on metabolism in rum, his thesis, his ideas;
it was really interesting research.

On this occasion we have had the great honor of Professor Synge's presence.
For many years we have wished for Professor Synge's visit to our country
because we were interested in what we could do to guide us, help us with
the problem which Sutherland discussed. We have been very pleased to have
with us many specialists, among the most eminent of the socialist camp. We
hope that our distinguished guest Synge will understand and will excuse us
because this congress was a little sui generis different, and it was not
closed in a solemn ceremony, that our point of view was aired with all
frankness, with all clarity, and with all honesty. Here everyone has talked
with complete freedom. Here everyone has the freedom to say what he thinks,
to voice opinions against us, even to criticize us, to say whatever they
care about us, and we will simply accept it as part of revolutionary work.
At times they even say harmful things against us but we accept it, we know
it, and we are not upset by it. We never call anyone's attention to it. We
never interrupt them. We respect the right of others to air their views and
in the name of that right, tonight we also have voiced our views.