Thursday, October 20, 2011

Whatever you're doing, do more of it

Reuters: Another mid-course correction in the economic reform program: larger parcels of land will be distributed in no-cost leases to private farmers.

The land grants are measured in caballerias, a quaint term from two empires ago in Cuban history (three if you want to count the Soviets) that denotes the amount of land given to a Spanish cavalry officer upon retirement. The fivefold increase in the size of the maximum land grant (from one to five caballerias) makes the top size 165 acres.

Now I wonder if the government will further improve farmers’ incentives by giving longer-term leases.


Anonymous said...

"...from two empires ago in Cuban history...". It makes me feel my country far older than what it really is. Feel like the Balkans.


Antonio said...

Peter, I would add one sentence to your title…And do it faster.

I frequently see news stories that refer to Raul as a Gorbachev type reformer and they could not be more wrong. One common analysis (That I largely agree with) of Gorbachev is that he moved too fast and events overtook him. History may well judge Raul as having moved TOO SLOWLY. There is also a mis-representation of the reforms as being Chinese or Vietnamese style. Those reforms were spearheaded by an overhaul of agriculture before anything else. Cuba has actually shut down the most productive sector in agriculture (Sugar) over the last 20 years and just seems to be muddling along, as the % of total food imported has continued to hover at around 85% or more.