Reforms help Cuban farmers, but many still struggle

Lazaro Sanchez poses for a photo on his farm Jesus Maria, in Bacuranao, just east of Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. A package of 63 reforms approved last year was meant to make it easier and more profitable for Cuban producers. Sanchez can now sell most of the vegetables he produces himself instead of being forced to sell them to the state at fixed prices, though it still takes a reduced share. He can set up his own roadside stand if he chooses. His power and water bills have been cut. But the measures, say farmers, are still not sufficient to overcome obstacles. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) (Ramon Espinosa, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

HAVANA – A package of 63 reforms approved last year was meant to make it easier and more profitable for Cuban producers to get food to consumers.

Farmers were given greater freedom to choose crops and to sell more freely, at higher prices. But they haven’t done much yet to solve shortages of food and soaring prices.

Farmers say the measures are still not sufficient to overcome obstacles.

The government cut prices for some supplies such as local herbicides, fertilizers, wire and tools. But many inputs remain hard to get.

The state is trying to overcome a lack of resources needed to import them.