Acopio, the central state bureaucracy that collects, stores, and distributes food through the rationing system, has been moved out of the agriculture ministry, and the number of state food markets is to be doubled. There has been no official statement putting these changes in context, so there’s no way to tell where this is going. In the past, Raul Castro has complained about inefficiencies in the centralized food distribution system. There has also been talk that the ration book, the libreta, might be phased out in favor of a system that subsidizes only the needy.
EFE reports that the European Union has allocated 11.7 million Euros in aid to Cuban agriculture. The aid is part of a global program; a three-year infusion of funds to help producers obtain materials, training, services, and microcredits. That’s exactly the gap that needs to be filled for many Cuban farmers, as described in last week’s ccount in Juventud Rebelde.