Friday, July 18, 2008

Land grants decree

Cuba has published a decree that provides for the distribution of idle state lands to Cubans – individual private farmers, cooperatives of all types, state farms – who will make it produce. It’s a sound step; there’s no more surefire way to increase food production in Cuba than to put more land in the hands of the private farmers, who are the most productive.

To my memory, the first mention of this was in Raul Castro’s July 26 speech last year. So it took nearly a year to bring the idea to full legal fruition.

Private farmers that are new and have no land can be granted 13.42 hectares – in Cuba, that’s one caballeria – and those with land can have their holdings increased until they are three caballerias in size. The grants are 10 years for private farmers, 25 years for cooperatives.

The only potential snag is that there will be a tax on the use of the land, and it’s yet to be defined.

6 comments:

leftside said...

As for the tax, did you see Phil how Raul prominently mentioned the usefullness of taxes in his speech the other day? I would expect to see progressive taxation emerge as the way to regulate the limited "market"openings. "Excessive" subsidies seem to be on the way out.

Anonymous said...

it is amazing how all of you take this economic nonsense seriously

Karamchand said...

No veo que esto hecho recientemente por Raul Castro vaya a mejorar o cambiar el tópico de la producción de lo alimentos. Hay que tener en cuenta que esas tierras se entregan en usufructo, no en propiedad, por lo que son susceptibles de quitarse igualmente, algo que retiene un real interés por parte de los productores, esto es extensible al resto de la economía, ¿por qué invertir en algo que puede que mañana decidan quitarme según el capricho o el interés del gobierno?, ha sucedido y sucede, luego de invertir esfuerzos, viene el gobierno y por x o y, se hace nuevamente con l propiedad, ¿y quien puso a producir y generar frutos?, mal ¿y usted?.
A esto agregaría que de donde van a salir los recursos necesarios, financieros fundamentalmente, para invertir, los instrumentos, abonos, sistemas de riego, etc; ¿acaso el gobierno proveerá con créditos suficientes?, y si sale mal la cosecha, ¿quien me revierte o me protege del gasto o la inversión?. Es decir, es como si yo que vivo en Cuba, me regalasen un el crucero Reina Victoria, no se que diablos haría con él, pues ni venderlo pudiera.
Eso no resuelve el problema, como ninguna otra medida tomada hasta ahora, porque no va a la raíz del asunto.
Ya el cubano desconfía con razón del gobierno y no espera mejoras de parte de él. Cualquier mejora real, representaría el fin de ese gobierno, al que normalmente se le llama dictadura.
Si se le agrega lo de los impuestos, el panorama es más tétrico aún, de uq eimpuestos hablan, prmero tendría que haber ingres, y eso, no lo hay ni hab´ra mientras exista este sitema infuncional.

Antony said...

I think this is a reform that is overdue. I have travelled throughout Cuba mostly by bus, and was always amazed at the amount of idle land lying around, especially east of Havana. I was shocked to learn that Cuba imports such a large percentage of its food. With food prices being so high right now, I wish the Cuban farmer the best.

Anonymous said...

Karamchand is right. It is one thing to grant campesinos the "use" of land to grow crops, but has the government said anything about allowing the farmers to sell the fruit of their labor at market prices? After 49 years of experience, Cubans are correctly suspicious that the regime, out of ideloogical conviction and in desperate need to feed the hungry multitude, will confiscate the crops produced by the "campesinos emergentes."

Anna said...

Does anyone have statistics on how much land was ultimately distributed this year and to how many people?
Thanks!