Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro on Food Program, Production Plans
Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL2610012891
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-91-208          Report Date:    28 Oct 91
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     8
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       10
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       25 Oct 91
Report Volume:       Monday Vol VI No 208


City/Source of Document:   Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro on Food Program, Production Plans

Author(s):   unidentified television correspondent at the

Affiliation(s):   Liliana Dmitrovna

Source Line:   FL2610012891 Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks in
Spanish 0100 GMT 25 Oct 91

Subslug:   [Interview with President Fidel Castro by unidentified television
correspondent at the (Liliana Dmitrovna) Horticultural Research
Institute in Havana; on 24 October-recorded]

1.  [Interview with President Fidel Castro by unidentified television
correspondent at the (Liliana Dmitrovna) Horticultural Research Institute in
Havana; on 24 October-recorded]

2.  [Excerpt] [Castro] Do not ask so many questions. Say hello first. That is
the first thing you should do.

3.  [Correspondent] How are you doing? Can you tell us something of your trip
to Mexico?

4.  [Castro] It was good. It was a quick trip.  [Correspondent] Yes, it was a
quick trip.

5.  [Castro] We further strengthened our ties, exchanges, relations. This helps
the whole process of rapprochement and integration with Latin America. 
[Correspondent] No sooner have you returned from Mexico and you are already
touring agricultural sites.  What did you find?

6.  [Castro] Yes, good things. A good work attitude, much better. 
[Correspondent] And lots of water.

7.  [Castro] Better organization than last year, many more ideas, better
criteria, and, unfortunately, lots of rain that has slightly delayed planting. 
[Correspondent] Commander, all eight Havana enterprises are behind in their

8.  [Castro] [Words indistinct] preparing the land.  [Correspondent] Is there a
strategy to be implemented as soon as it stops raining.

9.  [Castro] Well, before it stops raining. The comrades at this enterprise,
because it is still raining here, will move their equipment somewhere else and
work here or there, wherever they can work. They are using multiple-plows,
oxen, yet they still need a little help from the weather. If the rains
continue, no matter how much they run around, and gain time, and make progress,
they cannot reach the necessary rhythm to have the lands ready in time. Yet,
they feel optimistic, not pessimistic. They have readied a lot of land in spite
of everything.  [Correspondent] I noticed in Nueva Paz that they are cutting
and shoulder-carrying the plantain.

10.  [Castro] On their shoulders. In most places oxen are used to carry the
plantain. Some of those bunches are too big to be carried on the shoulders.
Have you visited Rosseau Camp?  [Correspondent] Yes.

11.  [Castro] Did you see the aerial micro-jet?  [Correspondent] Yes.

12.  [Castro] And how big are the bunches?  [Correspondent] Gigantic.

13.  [Castro] One man cannot carry one of those bunches. At least two men are
needed to carry them.  [Correspondent] Besides, the workers at Rosseau had an
excellent idea to make the boxes...

14.  [Castro, interrupting] When do they start harvesting?  [Correspondent] In

15.  [Castro] And they want to distribute the harvest themselves? 
[Correspondent] Yes.

16.  [Castro] This will ensure that the plantains arrive in good condition. If
they put the plantains in one of those big trucks they will be bruised by the
time they reach their destination.  [Correspondent] The harvesting...

17.  [Castro, interrupting] I keep seeing you everywhere. Are you always
assigned to report on agriculture in Havana?  [Correspondent] Yes, it is what I
like the most.

18.  [Castro] I am glad. How much time do they give you to tour the region? Do
you do this everyday?  [Correspondent] No, because there is not enough

19.  [Castro] What a pity. Can you ask these people to lend you some of the
gasoline they use for their tractors? Try to get yourself a diesel car? How
many gallons of fuel do you use up on a trip?  [Correspondent] It depends.
Sometimes they give me 30 liters and when I arrive at an enterprise the
managers help me with some more.

20.  [Castro] Thirty liters for a whole day?  [Correspondent] For a whole day.

21.  [Castro] Where do you begin?  [Correspondent] Well, if I go to Nueva Paz,
I tour the area and film several reports to take advantage of my 30 liters and
then another day I go to Guira, or another site to see what is happening at
every enterprise. Lately, the place I have visited the most is Brigada 30.

22.  [Castro] How much time do they allocate for your reports on television? 
[Correspondent] They really never cut the length of my reports. If I think that
the information deserves 1.2 minutes, I do 1.2 minutes. If I think it deserves
two minutes I do two minutes. I have never seen them cut me shorter.

23.  [Castro] They should give you a little more fuel. Well, if they were to do
this for you the other reporters would get mad at you. It is important that
television feature all the people doing agrarian work in Havana. Many people
work in this field. You can tour camps, talk with the workers. Television could
be showing more agriculture.  We are not asking for 11 reels of film on
agriculture [words indistinct] with all the rest.

24.  Would you prefer to visit the area at least three times a week rather than
once a week?

25.  [Correspondent] I would like to, because in the past I had the opportunity
to go every day to a different enterprise.  But now I cannot make it every day.
The most I can do is come once a week.

26.  [Castro] I will give you one of those [not further specified] cars.  They
consume less gas. What are you driving?  A Lada?  [Correspondent] No. I drive
that little minibus over there.

27.  [Castro] In that crazy thing?  [Correspondent] Yes. [laughs]

28.  [Castro] How much gasoline does it use?  [Correspondent] The driver is
over here.  [Unidentified speaker] Commander, it uses a hell [de madre] of a

29.  [Castro] A hell of a lot? [laughter] You mean a grandmother. 
[Correspondent] Commander, now that I have this opportunity to to talk with you
I would like you to give me an answer to something that worries me.

30.  It has always been said that summer is the worst time for planting. Did we
manage, this year, to draft a planting plan so we may harvest vegetables year

31.  [Castro] No, it was not possible. The only vegetable that grows all year,
and the more rain the better, is plantain.  [Correspondent] But the plantain...

32.  [Castro, interrupting] We have 300 caballerias with micro-jets and we plan
to reach 650 caballerias. We are going to plant 500 caballerias of bananas with
micro-jet, 145 caballerias of plantain with micro-jet, plus some caballerias of
fruits. We are also planing to give or sell a plantain tree to everyone who has
a patio in which to plant it. Plantain is the only year-round vegetable we can
count on unless a hurricane hits us. We are also promoting large scale plantain
production in Ciego de Avila, as a reserve, in case a hurricane wipes out
Havana's plantain crop. This is the most reliable product because it does not
require cold storage, and produces all year long.

33.  Besides plantains we have yuca which has different periods. This year
there is a winter crop of 250 caballerias of yuca that we can start to harvest
in May, June, July, August, in those months...  [Correspondent, interrupting]
But we will not have two crops this year?

34.  [Castro] This year we are planing to plant less potatoes and the potatoes
we plant will be of a higher quality. We are going to try to improve the
growth, no, not in growth but in the harvesting. We had problems harvesting
potatoes this year. The plowing and harvesting equipment are important. It is
very important to avoid mechanical damage to the potato so it can be kept in
cold storage. The cold storage facilities in Guinia have been completed and by
February we plan to have the cold storage in Guines completed. We plan to have
the one in Havana East repaired and have enough cold storage capacity to store
the potato crop and not be forced to distribute it all at once.

35.  We are planing to plant more than 100 caballerias of carrots. This is also
a winter crop, but it can be stored.  We are also planing to increase the
amounts of eggplant, yuca, sweet potato, and malanga. Malanga grows. We have
100 caballerias of malanga in Havana and now we are working to have 200
caballarias. We can double the production of malanga with good care, better
irrigation equipment, better stock. There is a definite increase. For example,
last year's agriculture: How many quintals did we produce in 1990? 
[Unidentified speaker] Commander, in 1990 we produced 6.7 million quintals. By
30 September of this year we had produced as much as we did all last year.

36.  [Castro] At the state enterprises? Throughout the province?  [Unidentified
speaker] Throughout the province.

37.  [Castro] What is the progress in state enterprises?  [Unidentified
speaker] State enterprises have surpassed last year's level by more than 1.2
million quintals.  [Correspondent] Commander, I wanted to tell you that...

38.  [Castro, interrupting] That is not counting this year's plantain crop.
This year's plantain crop alone has reached 200,000 quintals.  [Correspondent]
Commander, you had a great idea when you suggested the planting of condiments
in the cooperatives.

39.  [Castro] Yes, thank you.  [Correspondent] This idea has been very well
received but not everyone in Havana has access to it yet because there is not
enough. Is it possible to start increasing it?

40.  [Castro] I believe this was a first step. I believe that as we learn from
the experience we will be increasing the number of cooperatives and state
enterprises that can supply the small markets directly.  [Correspondent] Thank

41.  [Castro] My pleasure, and let's hope we can get you some more gasoline so
you may come at least three times [a week]. We need television to feature all
the work being done. Not only the work in the fields, but the efforts being
done by the workers. We have thousands upon thousands of workers from the
capital who would like to be seen at work, to be interviewed from time to time.

42.  [Correspondent] Comrades who are regular workers at the enterprises have
approached me to say that since they have been working near the contingents
they feel better because they feel they are being employed more effectively,
are better understood.

43.  [Castro] What do you think?  [Correspondent] That it is true.

44.  [Castro] Contingents produce more, but there are also some 15-day camps
that are very good. We could turn them all into contingents but the general
population would not have an opportunity to participate.  [Correspondent]
Different people every 15 days.

45.  [Castro] I just visited an excellent 15-day camp next door from the
Council of State, the Executive Committee.  [Correspondent] The one from the

46.  [Castro] What is the name?  [Correspondent] Celia Sanchez.

47.  [Castro] Celia Sanchez. The (?Mariel) from Havana Vieja is one of the best
but that is a contingent. These are 15-day camps for the mobilized. Sonrisa de
la Victoria is also a very good 15-day camp. I have heard many good things of
the 15-day camp, but there is no doubt that the contingents have more
experience, organization, productivity. What we have done is make half of them
into contingents and the other half into mobilized camps.  Otherwise, Havana
would only be a consumer.  [Correspondent] We eat a lot.

48.  [Castro] I have seen many people satisfied, happy. They make the
sacrifice. It is hard to live in the camps but they get a big spiritual
satisfaction afterwards. The food at the camps is good as you have been able to
see and in some centers.  [Correspondent] Yes. [laughs]

49.  [Castro] I think that the food is improving at some centers. The food has
improved at this center, has it not?  Perhaps not as good as at others, but it
has improved.

50.  Let us see if we can find you some more fuel so you can make your rounds
at least three times a week. You agree?  [Correspondent] Thank you very much.

51.  [Castro] I am glad to be of help. [passage omitted]