It was dawn on August 25 and we were already heading to the fields in southern Artemisa. If in the capital city Laura's left ravages , then there, very close to where it touched Cuban lands for the second time, it would be worse. And it was as we imagined: uncountable losses, little to recover , but a big will to lift the fallen green and undertake the recovery. The earth was waiting as one who does not lose confidence; it was time to recover.
Güira de Melena and Alquízar stand out among the largest food producers in the province and throughout the country. A good part of what is sent to the Cuban capital comes from its fields, not counting self-sufficiency.
We knew how disturbing Tropical Storm Laura would be. Its proximity to these municipalities forced to reinforce measures to preserve resources and food: it could not affect technology; however, its fruits — shortly after being harvested — showed the saddest reality.
For Rafael Leal Piñero, president of Ubaldo Díaz Fuentes Credit and Services Cooperative (CCS), in Güira de Melena, the meteorological event damaged some 30 hectares of banana plantations and 90 of fruit trees, between development and production; however, he believes that the harvest is around 100 tons for the next commercialization.
He says that he woke up there, to quantify each fallen tree or fruit and assess what would keep quality, because "after the storm, recovery always comes under the sun, a lot of effort and commitment. It is largely assumed by men and women who daily place or collect wonders of the most fertile; therefore, we had to work.
“We expect to keep our delivery plans to the Cuban territory and capital. We will advance harvests and strengthen the planting of short-cycle crops. Planting cassava and rescuing bananas will allow us to overcome the loss in five months ”, Leal added.
A plantation in the ground brings about questions, disagreements and absences, but if we put vigor into it —the best human fertilizer— they will soon be harvesting.
Agriculture was not enough for Laura tropical storm. It also furiously hit La Güireña mini-industry, where 50 fibers flew due to the winds intensity . At the time of the tour, led by Yoan Molina Blanco, head of the Food subgroup of the Provincial Defense Council, workers cleaned, collected and preserved for full recovery.
"We want to start!" Said one. That is will. Who doubts the success during the coming weeks?
It was no different in Alquizar . According to what Pedro Miguel García Veliz, director of the Agricultural Company, commented in a small talk , “300 hectares of corn were affected, 200 of dry corn. We harvest it by hand, because machines do not collect from the ground. The field demands of us and here we are.
“Cassava and banana are the most damaged plantations. Besides, December avocado was lost, after more than six hours beating the winds. That means we have to evaluate constantly our commitments, without affecting the people. Giving up is useless: we are still in combat! "
Despite considerable damage I think we can give back to the field what Laura took away. If green is on the ground, tomorrow we must get up with everyone's support; after all, agriculture is essential to the country.
Cuban people have plenty of cyclonic and, especially, recovery experience. It is needed to bloom again; paint the fields green once more. Laura couldn't take away our will. Each restorative action must be category 5, as required by these times.
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