The Basic Unit of Cooperative Production Organopónico Vivero Alamar in Havana, Cuba, is one of the largest and most successful organic urban gardens. This highly productive farm of 11 ha and 150 cooperative members contributes to local development by supplying healthy food and providing employment especially for women and older people. Finca del Medio is a 12 hectare vegetable and dairy farm operated by 11 family members experimenting for over 20 years in agroecological transition. It is widely recognized as an inspiration in the Agroecological, Permaculture and Slow Food International movements.
The Basic Unit of Cooperative Production “Organopónico Vivero Alamar” was founded in 1997 by five cooperative members, when the economy of Cuba was struggling with limited resources and there was an urgent need for food production. At the time, Alamar was a small tree nursery with an area of 800 m² irrigated manually. Gradually, the area and the workforce increased to 10.14 ha and 150 cooperative members, of which 42 are women.
The cooperative comprises a nursery that produces vegetables, fruit and timber plants; 0.45 ha of greenhouse; a rustic laboratory for the reproduction of entomopathogens; a center of reproduction of mycorrhizal fungi; and a small agro-industry transforming and preserving fruits and vegetables using simple techniques. In addition, they have an Organic Matter Center based on the manure of their livestock where earthworms, humus, compost, and special substrates are produced. Medicinal and aromatic herbs and plants are also produced.
Unfortunately, a dual challenge of COVID-19 related economic difficulties as well as wildfires have forced Organopónico Vivero Alamar to close its doors. While the network continues to learn from the successes of the farm by continuing collaborations with the farmers.
As of 2022, we have expanded our exemplary farms in Cuba to include Finca del Medio, a 12 hectare vegetable and dairy farm operated by 11 family members experimenting for over 20 years in agroecological transition. It is widely recognized as an inspiration in the Agroecological, Permaculture and Slow Food International movements.
For Finca del Medio, exchanges with both Cuban and international farms, experimentation processes, courses, research and involvement in development projects have resulted in innovations that contribute to food sovereignty and security, use of renewable energy, socio-ecological resilience and the enrichment of a culture and territorial identity based on locally available resources. The adoption of an agricultural philosophy in harmony with nature and in favor of the dignity of peasants on an agroecological basis has contributed to high energy and food self-sufficiency.
Works in the Basic Unit of Cooperative Production “Organopónico Vivero Alamar" in Cuba from 1999. Agricultural Engineer (Agrarian University of Havana)
Member of the family of Finca del Medio and full Professor at the University of Sancti Spíritus, with over 15 years of experience in research and practice related to Agroecological Science and Permaculture. Member in Cuba of the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology, of the National Group of Permaculture Facilitators in Cuba, and the International Slow Food Movement. Co-coordinator of the Sustainable Food Movement in Cuba.