Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

-DATE-
19901031
-YEAR-
1990
-DOCUMENT_TYPE-
-AUTHOR-
-HEADLINE-
Fidel Castro Addresses ICA on Livestock
-PLACE-
CARIBBEAN / Cuba
-SOURCE-
Havana Cubavision Television
-REPORT_NBR-
FBIS-LAT-90-214
-REPORT_DATE-
19901105
-HEADER-
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000019053
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     PA0511031090
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-214          Report Date:    05 Nov 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     1
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       7
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       31 Oct 90
Report Volume:       Monday Vol VI No 214

Dissemination:  

City/Source of Document:   Havana Cubavision Television

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Fidel Castro Addresses ICA on Livestock

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro at the Institute of Animal Sciences, ICA,
in Havana on 27 October-- recorded]

Source Line:   PA0511031090 Havana Cubavision Television in Spanish 0300 GMT 31
Oct 90

Subslug:   [Speech by President Fidel Castro at the Institute of Animal
Sciences, ICA, in Havana on 27 October-- recorded]

-TEXT-
FULL TEXT OF ARTICLE:
1.  [Speech by President Fidel Castro at the Institute of Animal Sciences, ICA,
in Havana on 27 October-- recorded]

2.  [Text] Distinguished guests, comrades who participate in events like these
at home and abroad, I am absolutely unprepared to close a scientific event. In
fact, no one reminded me yesterday that this event would be closing today. I
was and still am meeting with the Youth Directorate. Yesterday we held a
lengthy meeting during which we analyzed many issues, and the meeting is not
over yet. It was to continue today and it will continue. It occured to me
during the recess, to excuse myself and escape for a few minutes to calculate
the minimum time for a brief speech, or a few brief words rather than a speech.
I wanted to come over here quickly and participate in this closing event.

3.  All of this is regrettable because the topics that you have discussed and
the problems that you have brought up are of enormous interest for our country
and for other countries in the world, especially for the third world where
people live in the tropical zones of our planet. On the other hand, it was
impossible to let this day go by without granting a minimum of recognition to
the ICA, which was, in fact, one of the first scientific institutions created
by the revolution.

4.  At that time, none of us knew anything about science.  Today some of you
know about science. Comrade (Ravel) spoke here of the first meetings that were
held to create the ICA, and of how I suggested that he educate himself well so
that he could later educate others. At that time, (Ravel) was not a scientist,
nor were any of the comrades who worked here from the outset. We knew little
about science. We knew even less about organizing a scientific center. We all
agreed to deal with these problems and to create.

5.  In fact, the issue of livestock development had gained momentum in the
wealthy and developed capitalist countries, especially in the cool climates. I
might say that at the time we had no point of reference, information, or
experience. There was no experience in the tropics concerning livestock
development. In the tropics, in fact, as a rule all livestock development was
extensive. All of the ideas and concepts concerning the exploitation of dairy
farms or dairy cattle came from Europe, The Netherlands, France, the United
States, Australia, and other countries.

6.  In reality there was no... [changes thought] although Australia is a
country that has cool and cold areas.  [sentence as heard] When the ICA was
created, I do not recall seeing much literature on dairy exploitation, for
example. For us it was a difficult task, but our goal was clear: how to produce
milk and meat in the tropics. In the tropics, of course, we knew how to produce
meat in the extensive manner, and we used very rustic cattle, primarily zebus.

7.  We all had to study a little in those days. I read a number of books on
cattlebreeding and on milk production, many of them from the United States and
Europe. Of course, there was not a single book by Guacan [not further
identified] that I did not read and recommend to other people. What he wrote
and what he advocated concerning the best way to use pasture --especially in
the practical sense--seemed reasonable. In effect, these ideas were implemented
in our country and are still in the process of being perfected.

8.  Cuba had many problems, and we had to reach certain conclusions. Our
country was not large enough to have huge meat-producing herds, and we could
not produce enough milk for our population--not the milk they drank but the
milk they needed. We reached the conclusion, that as a rule, we had to develop
milk-producing cattle. That milk should be the leading product and meat a
byproduct. Our zebus did not produce enough milk; they only produced two or
three liters, sometimes a little more. We did not have the opportunity to bring
in other types of zebus from other countries with more milk-producing
qualities.

9.  We later found out that in Australia there is a zebu that produces more
milk, and doses of semen were brought to Cuba to begin reproducing them, but
that was a very lengthy process. Therefore, we had to get down to the task of
cross-breeding but we had no experience. There was some practical knowledge in
mountainous areas in some of the provinces where Brown Swiss cows had been
crossed with zebu cattle, and also [changes thought], but very little
concerning other possible cross-breedings. Of course, it was not easy to get
Brown Swiss cattle because of the U.S. blockade and the difficulty of importing
European cattle if they are not first sent to strict quarantine centers,
despite being vaccinated. We have always maintained that vaccinated animals
should not be brought because they could be the bearers of certain diseases
such as hoof-and-mouth disease. I saw that we had almost no other alternative
but to stick with Holstein cattle, primarily from Canada, with whom we have
maintained commercial ties throughout the revolutionary period.

10.  Thus, one of our first tasks was to find a way of developing
milk-producing herds. That was our priority, and we worked on that. All types
of cross-breeding were done and compared. We saw that the F-1s [refers to the
outcome of a particular type of cross-breeding] were animals that inherited the
milk-producing capacity from the different breeds.

11.  We cross-bred all the breeds, Holstein, Brown Swiss, Ayrshire, Jersey, and
dairy Shorthorn. We tried every kind of milk-producing breed there was in the
world and compared the production. Maybe the genetic potential and quality of
the specimens were responsible, but we saw a preeminence in the Holstein.

12.  I remember some of the first cross-breedings. There is still a small place
somewhere near the summit which is now being preserved as a historical site,
but this will not always be the case. We might build a scientific research
center there at any time, because experiments done in the past there were not
always scientific, but rather practical ones--which I asked some friends to
conduct.

13.  We had to give the Genetic Engineering Department 16 hectares of land that
we used for experiments in those days. There is still a small milk-producing
herd of S-1 and R-1 and maybe some F-2.

14.  Well, F-2 is the wrong way of saying it because I think it was F- 1-1, but
what is practical is always practical, and the F-1-1 we used to call F-2. We
called F-2 the cross-breeding of the Holstein with the F-1 again. That is how
everyone knew it.

15.  There is still some cross-breeding to be done, but it is bound to
disappear with science's fast development and advanced technology in those
areas.

16.  That was not the only place, however, where cross-breeding was done. 
Experiments were conducted everywhere. In some cases the cross-breeding
encompassed complete dairy farms. First we tried to get milk, and then meat. We
tried to find out what type of cross-breeding produced the most milk. When we
selected the father properly, some of the offsprings were born on the eighth
month--we conducted an experiment to discover when a well-fed F-1 could be
born. I remember one who was born from (?Zinma) or (?Zineman) or (?Zileman)
something like that.  We brought thousands of that breed.

17.  Afterward we invented the sperm cell tablet. One million doses. We decided
that we did not need so much sperm.

18.  We did not have money to buy the dose of sperm. The ampoules were worth
about $50. We would send our technicians to purchase the semen and then we
subdivided it into one million sperm cell tablets. Later we ran tests to see if
it would work. We found that we could inseminate just as easily using 20,000
sperm cells instead of 20 million. I imagine that the role of these cells must
be similar to a sports marathon, with thousands running to see who arrives
first. [chuckles] It makes no difference whether 50, 500, or 5,000 run. So it
makes no difference whether there are 25 million or 1 million sperm cells.  Our
tests worked and we ended up paying two dollars for the dose. I recall that the
(?company) was (?Ceiling Roughman). We now have thousands of cattle. One of the
cows produced up to 20 liters of milk a day when she was eight months old.
Incredible! Luckily, the F-1 breed is a solution. Now that we are talking about
raising cattle in the tropics , I am showing you a very easy way to start.  The
Swiss, for example, have a good cow that yields plenty of milk, the Holstein, a
breed we did not have.

19.  We began cross-breeding the Zebu and the Holstein in order to have
hundreds of thousands of milk cows. We only had a few thousand milk cows in the
country. Then we studied what to do next, whether the the F-2 breed-- the
second cross-breeding with Holstein--was strong or not, and whether we should
crossbreed what we called the R-1. We began developing new breeds, but that
takes a long time and countries need to find short-term solutions. We can work
on long-term solutions geared for 25, 30 or 40 years, but the population needs
short-term solutions. The fastest way to breed cattle was to use the Zebu, our
local breed. We also have native cattle. We have found and maintained them. We
have used them to produce cattle for consumption purposes. We have cross-bred
them with the (Imusine), which has a similar color. However, we could not only
use native cattle. This would have taken many years. I remember that the main
herds were at Bayamo and they were infected with brucellosis. To my way of
thinking, tropical countries have a very easy way out--cross-breeding with Zebu
to produce milk cows. From this action many formulas are possible. One formula
is secondary cross-breeding. Stabilization can be tried with a 75-percent milk
producing breed, a 50 percent, a three-eighth, or five-eighth--we have
cross-bred many like this. We have had excellent results with high milk yields
by cross-breeding the six-eighth [as heard] with the Zebu once again. Animals
which are only 25 percent Holstein have yielded more than 20 liters of milk a
day. And what milk! How tough these animals are! There are many Holstein
variations.  The cows we call R-1 also yield plenty of milk and are strong. If
one chooses, this can be done in large numbers . Take the six-eighth [as heard]
and cross it with an R-1.  Many things can be done. There are many ways to
produce large numbers of milk producing animals. This was one of the first
tasks we undertook.

20.  Afteward, using genetics, we tried to see what cross-breeds would yield
the most meat. In all the tests that we did, we were able to prove that
crossing a Holstein cow with Zebu bull produced the fastest growing animal. We
tested all the meat producing breeds. We tried the (Imusine), the Charolais,
Shorthorn--all the meat producing breeds.  We tested them by crossing them with
Holstein and they always came out first. We tested this again and again. From
this emerged the concept of the tropical Holstein, beginning with the herds we
had imported and without importing fresh semen. We chose the Holstein cattle
that produced the most milk and fat in the tropics. A cow (?in Canada) produces
much milk, but cannot stand the heat. We ran plenty of other tests.  We studied
their hides, the number of pores, and why the Zebu was stronger. We used plenty
of technical data in making the selections. We discovered that the number of
pores was indeed a very important factor because this is how the body cools
itself. This determines why the Zebu can stand the heat and the others cannot.
We also studied the Zebu's stomach walls. The walls are thicker, they have a
greater digestive capacity and can extract more nutrients from the food. One
surprising fact emerged--by crossing the Zebu and the Holstein, the hybrid
breed weighed much more, as if the mother cow was a Holstein instead of Zebu.
We then had to figure out why this happened. Maybe the Holstein cow feeds its
calf more milk. The hybrid offspring then grows more. I told myself that this
could be one of the reasons. Maybe this hybrid does not receive as much food in
a Zebu's womb. That could well be one of the theories.

21.  I mean we spared no tests trying to find ways to produce milk and make the
milk herds produce beef. If you have already one million animals of a milk
breed, then this milk herd can produce beef if 60 percent of its animals are
crossbred. These herds can also give birth to hybrid males or females, which
can later be butchered. We can breed the animals that produce the most milk
with carefully selected animals of their own kind in order to replace the
animals being removed and to keep their number constant. In theory, we have a
large number of solutions. In addition, we imported young Holstein animals and
acclimatized them. Because these were what we call tropical Holsteins, we tried
to find and breed the species that could best resist heat and tropical
conditions. This was one of the big problems we had to resolve.

22.  We experienced another great problem, basic food. All of what has been
learned about cattle in the world has been written in temperate countries. The
food is basically cereals and grains. Early on, we reached the conclusion that
our country did not know what to import because the best lands are planted with
sugarcane. We do not have abundant land for raising cattle. To understand this,
we must take into consideration that our country has almost as many inhabitants
per square kilometer as China, and that our country exports food for tens of
millions of people in the world. We export food for 40 million people in the
world.

23.  In addition to the grain problem, our soil is tropical and sometimes it
can be hard as concrete. Planting cereal calls for the soil to broken up, which
can be expensive and difficult. We discovered early that the pasture was the
ideal choice for us because it is a perennial plant. We studied this in depth.
We grew pastures with fertilizers to such an extent that we later could not
find use for it, and the plants that we built had to be changed to process
sugarcane, rice, and other necessary products. We studied the yield from one
hectare in tropical conditions, under which production can be great.

24.  Also, we have a special gramineous plant-- sugarcane--perhaps the plant
most capable of assimilating solar energy and being used for energy. I do not
think there is a more capable plant in the world. In addition, it is a
perennial and noble plant because it resists drought. In the end, it may not
yield as much, but the crop will not be lost, such as in the case with grains
when a strong drought takes it by surprise. Grains are more likely to have
these difficulties, which include the soil, excessive rain, drought, relatively
low yield per hectare, and high mechanization. This is why we favored the
pasture.

25.  At ICA we had to bring in technicians from Europe.  There was even
controversy about this. I remember a great controversy with the leading
director and technician at a congress that I was invited to. This controversy
arised over a single concept. While the speaker at the congress was advocating
cereals, we were defending the idea of a pasture and sugarcane. It was a honest
controversy. With the European mentality, he saw the solution in cereals. But
there was not sufficient land. In addition, there were other obstacles. We
proposed to the ICA the idea of using sugarcane as the fundamental source of
food for cattle. Of course, we proposed the development of the pasture. The
institution was put in charge of numerous tasks.

26.  I must mention another of the great disadvantages of the tropics, the
absence of a good legume. We envied the way clover and alfalfa are grown in
temperate climates.  Alfalfa can last two or three years, but ours lasted
barely one year. We had to grow it like we would lettuce. When the dry season
started, with all this increased solar energy, gramineous plants sprouted all
over the place and smothered the alfalfa. We worked hard to grow alfalfa. In
Europe, you can see how easily legumes and gramineous plants are combined. We
did tests with legumes and produced more than 20 liters, in fact, more than 25
liters--I still remember the specimen-- of milk per animal per day with a
mixture of coconut (?dermuda)--not of the very best--and alfalfa. For a daily
diet, we fed the cattle a mixture of 50 pounds of alfalfa, which we had grown
as lettuce, and 100 pounds of the gramineous plant coconut (?dermuda). This
particular cow was brought to a genetics center and its yield was calculated.
Its production of 18 liters per day increased to 27 without it losing any
weight. On the contrary, the animal gained weight.

27.  But it is very difficult to grow legumes here. I remember we imported all
kinds of legume seeds to prove this.  Now, at last, we are growing some of
them. Growing legumes represents a tremendous leap ahead. Great experience has
been gained in temperate countries in feeding cattle with gramineous plants,
legumes, and grain through research and the application of technology.

28.  But here we had to face the solution of those problems in the tropics. As
has been said here before, there have been major political changes. Our people
did not have much experience. I remember that at first we tried to put up
electric fences but our workers' level of education was very low. We had to put
up those fixed fences. Now we are starting to put up electric fences on a large
scale, and these will have to be used on an even greater scale. The use of
these fences produces greater saving and allows greater utilization of the
pasture land. Our people did not have much experience. Grazing very robust
animals such as the Zebu, the Holstein and dairy cows requires greater
attention, and we did not have the means to provide it. The cattle was more
susceptible to ticks and other types of problems. But we were able to overcome
all these changes, and throughout these years we had to learn from everyday
experiences. During all of these problems we had to face subjective and
objective factors.  Currently our country has a vast knowledge of cattle
exploitation.

29.  There have been other problems in organizing livestock enterprises. The
executive committee held a meeting 10 days ago to analyze the structure of the
livestock enterprises. On the administrative level the staff was too large,
everyone was demanding something or other; the administration sector was also
very large. There was an excessive number of personnel. The same held true for
the mid-level structure. We are making a great effort and we are going to
reduce the staff in these enterprises. The excess personnel will be sent to
other sectors, like housing. And as I have said, these steps which must be
taken have to be analyzed even further. Right now it is the best solution and
this concept must be studied. If the famous USA, [corrects himself] UFA
[Administrative Functional Unit] is right, then it should be made up of 10
dairy farms. Here we have observed too much specialization.

30.  When the livestock programs were planned, it was decided that the dairy
farms were to select and raise the calves, the yearlings, and the young cattle,
in other words, be responsible for those activities. But later, those tasks
were passed on to ASU [expansion unknown], which was against the genetic
renovation. Now once again we are proposing that each unit select the animals
which are to replenish their herds from the offspring of their best cows,
rather than placing them in center for calves where the same milk is given to
the offspring of a cow of 40 as to the offspring of a cow of 10. In these
centers the cattle has to be classified, and more attention given to the
animals that have greater genetic possibilities.

31.  In the agricultural sector the idea of selecting and raising young
animals, the offspring of the best cows, came up.  But now the livestock
enterprise considers itself too specialized in calves, in weaned animals, and
in young cattle. Nevertheless, it did not do a thorough job in certain
organizational procedures which are important in making our overall concept
perfect, revolutionizing it and truly making it adequate for reaching our
objectives.  There is no doubt too much specialization leads to a greater
number of workers. We are now considering if some of this breeding can be
carried out in an overall manner, that is, placing calves and weaned animals
under the same administration. Maybe even the young cattle can be included in
these units. But we are very interested in merging the productive units with
the genetic program. A great deal of attention is currently being given to the
livestock problem.

32.  Generally speaking, cattle raising is the car's fifth wheel.  Sugarcane
planting and processing always held a priority status. Then came rice, citrus
fruits, other foods, and vegetables, whose plans demanded compliance to the
detriment of the plans to plant pasture. Cattle raising also suffered because
it not only had to yield its priority status regarding fertilizers to sugarcane
and other crops, but good land to foresting plans in the mountains.  Forests
had irrationally been logged and pastures had been planted. These areas truly
belonged to the forests.  Consequently, the areas devoted to raising cattle
gradually shrank.  The government was forced to constantly devote new areas to
growing pastures. As I said before, the plans for cattle raising did not have a
priority status.  Now a bigger priority has emerged in the form of this year's
pasture planting plans. This year has not been the most favorable for planting
pastures. There has been continual rain in some areas of the south. There was
little rain in the country's center and none in the north, and it has been
necessary to wait. In addition, it has been necessary to overcome inertia, the
old idea of forgetting about the pasture. A strong effort is being made and at
this time we have planted perhaps 17,000 caballerias, or more than 200,000
hectares. We might reach 240,000 hectares this year.

33.  This is a somewhat greater figure. But this is going to be the year in
which the most pastures will be planted. The government has paid special
attention to this. It has been discussed again and again. We are making the
effort we should. Our livestock has had to adapt itself to less than rich soils
and often to the more arid areas. Sugarcane, rice, citrus fruits, and
vegetables have had priority status in the irrigation plans. These products
have been pressing our economy. Of course, their production per hectare is
higher. I believe, however, that the pastures lagged too far behind. This is
one of the corrections we are making, giving cattle raising and pasture
planting all the attention that they deserve. This has been studied in- depth
and much experience has been gained. Many varieties of pastures have been
introduced over the years. You have studied them all here. The varieties are
numerous and have been evaluated to determine which are more productive. The
soils to which each of these varieties of pasture is best suited have been
studied. We are already working with these things in mind.

34.  Seeds have been imported and banks have been created to cover the pastures
not only with stolons, but with seeds. To make compliance with programs easier,
quantities of seed, such as that of wistaria, have been imported. Several large
plots of land have been planted this year, not only as protein banks, but as
seed banks to spread this legume. We will have to work hard in this direction
with the best gramineous plants and legume banks and areas best suited to our
conditions to meet the principle that our basic foods be from the pasture,
milk, and beef because we must import grain and its availability is never sure.
Prices vary too much. It is more logical for us to feed poultry, rather than
cattle, with cereals. These animals include egg-laying hens, chickens, hogs to
a certain extent, and other species. Consequently, we must devote what grain we
can have to this production. We cannot feed poultry from the pasture. If we
could, this would be a marvel. Maybe we could feed them with a percentage of
legumes. Otherwise, it is clear that cereals constitute the basic food diet of
poultry.

35.  Now, the aspiration of those early years is a reality today thanks to
ICA's efforts, which crystallized the aspiration to turn sugarcane into a
source of animal feed, rich not only in carbohydrates but proteins as well.
Through research and mainly through ICA, important progress has been made in
all the fields mentioned. Great progress has been made in every direction to
become familiar with the secrets of cattle feeding based on our own sources.

36.  With the help of ICA, we have made great progress in our research centers
in feeding cattle with molasses, enriched honey, and protein honey. These are
very important achievements. Today, we can honestly say that sugarcane--the
most noble plant we know in our country-- can become the basic source of food
supplement for cattle in the form of saccharine.

37.  In my opinion, this is the greatest achievements of ICA, the greatest
contribution to cattle raising in our country, and the greatest contribution to
cattle raising in the tropical world. That noble plant can be produced
throughout the tropics, and the procedures for developing saccharine are very
simple.

38.  We continue to conduct research and to improve the techniques. Sugarcane
can also be the main source for feeding hogs, not only through a certain amount
of saccharine, but also through protein honey. Protein honey practically
replaces grains. Hogs may be fed with some fiber from saccharine and protein.
The other calories will come from protein honey.

39.  Protein honey is made from liquid yeast. Naturally, our liquid yeast
factories each cost $10 million many years ago. Today they would each cost over
$20 million. That is why we have two important tasks--we must have our own
liquid yeast factories and the basic equipment in order to reduce the
investment.

40.  There is another more important issue, and we have asked ICA to work on
it. We want to develop small factories close to the center that will produce
protein honey, and this will entail a great economy in the investment. That is
a very important step for us. Sugarcane has become a tremendous raw material
for feeding cattle. Normally, a certain amount of saccharine can be use for
feeding hogs and rabbits, while a very large amount can be used for cattle.
Saccharine helps all species, even poultry, which takes about 10 percent.

41.  We are now trying to produce saccharine on an industrial basis, and we are
working on the task of drying it. We are trying to see how we can use surplus
heat or the heat from chimneys in order not to invest energy in drying
saccharine. In addition, there is a certain virtue to this product, and that
the fact it can be produced in a small scale.

42.  Sugarcane can be processed in a small mill to produce saccharine; it can
be produced on a dairy farm, at an UFA. What does UFA stand for anyhow? I see,
the Administrative Functional Units. The administrative had to show up
somewhere, right? The administrative always show up. The units should be called
UEPL, Efficient Milk Production Units, [Unidades Eficientes de Produccion de
Leche], and not Administrative Functional Units.  Some bureaucrat must have
participated in this concept and organization. [applause and laughter]

43.  And I told them, yes, I talked to them about these concepts and
organizations. We are determining whether it is necessary to have some
intermediate organizations like the famous UFA and the farms.

44.  If we had only developed something like these basic production units, so
that we could have not 10, but 12, 15 or 20, we could eliminate the
intermediate organizations such the farm. Maybe a farm could have 15, 20, 25 or
30 dairies--there we have the grazing areas and so on.  We are thinking of
additional changes that will allow the reduction of personnel to make those
units more efficient, functional, and productive.

45.  We are working on all of these fields. The efforts of the scientists are
not enough; they provide the formulas and the solutions, but agriculture and
the administration must apply those formulas.

46.  The ICA did all the basic work of all these great advancements. I remember
I used to say, when the ICA was created and to which were assigned hundreds of
the best lands and enough resources, that with just one discovery they would
pay for themselves. They have made several, but this saccharine is just an
example. They have worked on everything that has to do with the (?assigning
cadres); they have cooperated directly with agriculture. The institution became
closely involved with the production centers. It directly influences not only
with its research, but also with its advice and recommendations, cattle
production. It is everywhere, it has relations with the centers. This is a very
good, very useful, very positive concept of great importance. It gives
systematic courses to cattle experts. And I think this whole collection of
achievements and ideas helps to explain the meaning, the importance, and the
prestige of this institution.

47.  In the field of cattle farming, we have worked not only with the idea of
helping ourselves, but also toward the solution of the food problem of Third
World countries in the tropical areas. As Mr. More [not further identified] has
said: This is one of the most serious problems and greatest challenges facing
contemporary man. Where there is more progress--in the countries of Europe and
others--fewer children are born. There is a minimal population growth. The
surplus food supplies are frequently destroyed or the crop sizes are reduced
for economic and commercial reasons. Where there is less food, the population
grows the most. Where it is more difficult to produce food supplies, the
population grows the most.

48.  Let us say that the cooler climate is better. It does not have droughts.
It does not have frequent floods. It does not have hurricanes as does part of
the developing world.  The earth is looser, softer, and easier to prepare. The
production of food supplies in the tropics is not easy. We have to fight
against humidity, the environment, and the heat. We must also look at the
conditions under which we must work in the tropics, under a relentless sun.

49.  In Europe you work in agriculture as if you were in air conditioning. The
climate is dry at 15 degrees, 16, 17, and much cooler than in this room. That
is where a farm worker works, while here we must clear the land and plant the
seeds at midday, at 1500 in the afternoon, in the months of April, May, June,
July, August, September, it is terrible and you never hear about it.

50.  Sometimes the men in the tropics seem lazy, and look like they never work.
But when the Europeans came here, they had to go to Africa and hunt African men
and take them as slaves because they did not feel like cutting sugarcane,
harvesting coffee, and working in the fields.  That is the real historical
truth. Conditions are difficult in the tropics, but the tropics can have
advantages if you can achieve the techniques.

51.  The sugarcane has a great capacity for soaking up solar energy, but it is
not produced in Europe. The Europeans use beets for producing sugar. Grassy
weeds do not grow all year long in Europe, but in the tropics the grassy
weeds--both the good and the bad ones--grow all year long. The bad ones are a
plague. I have seen a variety called Don Carlos growing in Havana that is truly
frightening. It grows this high in just a few days.

52.  That is why we must control these weeds throughout the year. We must
control these negative things, we must develop the plants and the good grassy
weeds that have a positive effect on the cattle. It can help produce more
fodder per hectare, if the techniques are controlled. Not everything is
disadvantageous.

53.  With all of these developments such as protein honey and saccharine,
sugarcane becomes a hope for the population in the tropics. It opens great
possibilities, as it increases the production of food.

54.  When I was in Brazil, a Brazilian entrepreneur told me he was very pleased
with how useful our technology was for feeding hogs with protein honey. I told
him that Cuba was not really interested in increasing production of milk, pork,
or beef for export. We want it for the consumption of our people. I told him
our procedures were simple.

55.  How much will we collect with this transfer of technology? We then
wondered if it would not be better if we donated the technology and the results
of our research centers to the Latin American and Third World countries. We are
donating the technology of feeding with protein honey, and we are donating the
technology of saccharine, which is very easy and simple to produce.

56.  I cannot imagine Cuba filing a lawsuit in Latin America against any
country that is producing saccharine. If I were in any of those countries, and
I find out that there is saccharine, that by crushing sugarcane with a few
mineral salts one can produce saccharine, then I would probably not conclude a
contract with anyone who is producing saccharine. [sentence as heard]

57.  It is quite different to produce the meningococcus vaccine. We believe
that these achievements in the field of animal feeding that have greatly helped
our country and that are not for competition or export should be passed on to
other countries. That is the policy we are following.

58.  As I told you earlier, I slipped out of a meeting, and I must return to
that meeting. All I have left to say is that I share with all of you and I
share with ICA the happiness that these 25 years of work and success have
brought because of contributions made to the revolution. This is also a time
when many scientific centers in our country are anxiously working to help
overcome difficulties.

59.  We have high hopes in our scientific centers. If 25 years ago, when we did
not know anything but had great trust and a great awareness in the importance
of scientific research, we have an even greater trust today. We urge you all
from your respective jobs, enterprises, and research centers, to continue
working with all the devotion you are capable of giving in order to help the
revolution and the country confront the difficulties. We will not delay a
single minute in putting all of the achievements from research centers into
practice .

60.  This event is something of an international event, and we had another one
a few days ago at a blind people's rehabilitation center. I did not what to
voice our slogans at that time. However, today, as the majority of the people
here are nationals, and the guests are very understanding people and they have
an attitude of exchange and friendship, I hope they will excuse me, if I say
here:

61.  Socialism or death, fatherland or death, we will win.  [applause]
-END-


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