The water´s secret

It continues being a center of reference for its results in terms of production and the quality of the crops grown. The Basic Unit of Cooperative Production (UBPC) in San Cristóbal, continues adding efforts and making what is apparently impossible for others.

Cucumber´s yield , the product sown in its beds, amount to 65 tons per hectare, and its workers closed 2018 with an average salary of 3858 pesos, between profits and salary.

But where do dreams begin ? Who makes every achievement possible? A staff dedicated to the commitment of water and its productions.

In the heart of the hydroponic

The heart of the hydroponic is, without doubt, postures house; there three workers give all the necessary attention to the seeds, until obtaining a plant ready to go out into the field. Not only they perform this first process to obtain a quality product, but they also take care of it.

"The process begins with the substrate´preparation ; one of its elements is the straw of rice straw. Then we go to disinfection with formaldehyde, cover the mixture and wait 72 hours; we take it to the trays and the washing begins with the irrigation system, until the electric conductivity indexes go down, "explains Jorge Luis Acosta, head of the brigade.

"In this way we achieve high potentials in seed germination. The next step is to manage the irrigation until obtaining healthy plants. We give them the appropriate care until they are ready to take it to the field, "Acosta adds.

That's why this is the heart of hydroponics, because the field´s results , unique in the country and in the province start right here.

During our visit the house was full of small green islands: there were 18,000 tomato postures , 1,000 eggplant, and 7,000 fruit bombs. The three men work tirelessly and take care of the fruit tree nursery.

"In both places we produce postures for UBPC consumption and for producers having contracts with the unit. From the nursery we also sell to the population. We have planted an average of 12 to 14 types of fruit trees, with greater economic impact on mango, avocado, pumpkin fruit and mamey, " the head of the brigade says.

Plum, guanabana, custard apple, anon, canistel, Chinese plum or carambola, cashew, tamarind, cherry, peach and pear, among others, also grow on this land.

As techniques for obtaining plants, they use seed propagation and grafting; in the latter, mamey, mango and avocado are prioritized.

"We use two, mainly : the slit and the one made through the tangential cut with decapitated pattern. It is a more efficient way according to the type of plant. We grafted on the yellow sleeve pattern, the avocado and mamey, and selected yolks of high productive potential.

"This is a cozy work, to which he dedicates a lot, and implies a high responsibility, as well as observation in the use of the technique to produce quality," concludes who has devoted 10 years to this work.

About numbers, productions and work

The sound when crossing the fields planted with cucumbers, does not look like the typical Cuban crop: here water´s sound prevails.

According to Yoel Lima,water supply operator , water is reused; The system allows you to take it to every place and then bring it back to the tank. The plants are irrigated in five frequencies of 40 minutes each.

"Now the work is a bit more satisfactory, because two Russian engines were installed, which favors better irrigation conditions . I feel useful, because water rules the entire process to harvest quality products, " Lima says.

The entity has two plans to comply, one for production and the other for sales contracted with the State.

"My total production plan was 112 tons, and we reached 132, for a 118% compliance. The sales was completed at 141 ", Carlos Alberto Díaz, president of the UBPC explains.

"And in the salary we maintain excellent rates: even each year our workers earn a little more. We closed 2018, on average, with 1 614 pesos of salary and 3 700 pesos in profits. A worker earned 22,600 pesos in wages and 23,700 pesos in earnings ", adds Díaz.

"This seems to be a good year, we just have to continue working so that our UBPC sustains such extraordinary results in terms of production and sales, which also mean better salaries for each worker", the manager says.

Without great formulas, in San Cristóbal, this UBPC shows how hydroponics can be a passable road, with unique results. There is no shortage of inventiveness and commitment of men and women who reveal the water´s secret every day.

TRANSLATION BY LMMS

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