PHOTO ESSAY: A look back at the Sustainable Food Production Project (PROSAM) in Cuba over the last 7 years 

All photos taken by CARE Cuba.

PHOTO ESSAY: A look back at the Sustainable Food Production Project (PROSAM) in Cuba over the last 7 years

Launched in 2015 in Cuba and funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the goal of the  PROSAM project was to improve the diversity and quantity of food available in local markets, strengthen the capacities of municipalities to manage food production plans and support local producers, and ensure that women are involved in agricultural production in their communities.

A variety of activities and initiatives took place to achieve the project’s goals:

PROSAM supported the expansion of 3 key markets: vegetables, fruit, and small livestock.

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Yusmila Leya was a participant in PROSAM and built a shelter for her goats to protect them and was able to increase her production. 

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PROSAM also worked with participants to help increase the value of the products they produced.

In the photo above, fruits and vegetables were transformed into higher value products such as sauces, vinegars, and juices.

New technology was introduced

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Climate-resilient technologies were introduced to help farms better withstand climate shocks and stresses, like drought.

Innovative irrigation systems with solar panels were highly successful, which allowed farmers to save on fuel and electricity costs while increasing their access to water.

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PROSAM worked collaboratively with technical specialists and gender representatives in the local municipal government division responsible for agriculture.

Motorcycles were provided to the municipalities and the specialists, mostly women, were supported to obtain their licenses. This allowed them to be able to carry out their work more efficiently and make more visits to the farms.

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As PROSAM worked with farmers to increase the production of vegetables and fruit, points of sale were also developed so that people in the community could purchase the produce.

Women’s participation increased

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Over the course of the project, the number of women involved in agriculture increased by 46%, and subsequently their incomes increased by 68%.

Beyond this, PROSAM also engaged men to promote gender equality, increased the recognition of women’s work in production, as well as their access and control over resources. 

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Lianny and Reinier Fundora are leaders of a large farm that produces vegetables. While participating in the PROSAM project, Lianny’s self-confidence grew and she became a strong leader on the farm. 

Supporting local producers

Prior to PROSAM, it was difficult for farmers to get the seedlings they needed to produce fruits and vegetables.

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PROSAM worked with Anna Mairilys Vicideo (left) so she could expand the production of vegetable seedlings in her nursery. The seedlings were then sold to other farmers, which in turn increased their crop production. Talk about long lasting and sustainable impact!

María Andrea (right) is a successful vegetable farmer and leader in the community. As a PROSAM participant, she was able to increase and diversify her vegetable production by 20% by using an irrigation system with solar panels.

Lasting success

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We are incredibly grateful to all the participants who were so deeply committed to the PROSAM project. Their hard work and willingness to learn new approaches to sustainable farming and their drive to increase and diversify food production will benefit the entire community for years to come.

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