25.06.2018

Instead it has been relying on food imports and hoping to revive its conventional farming sector. With support from Brazil and also Venezuela (before that nation’s economy collapsed), Cuba has tried to boost its use of synthetic chemical inputs and its inventory of large scale machinery and more centre-pivot irrigation equipment. Instead of going organic, Cuba increased its consumption of mineral fertilisers by 32 per cent between 2002 and 2012. It has even pursued research on genetically engineered crops.

Agroecology supporters who know their methods are not replacing Green Revolution techniques have fallen back on a number of excuses. In 1991, Vandana Shiva explained that Green Revolution farmers in India had been lured by foreign advisors into adopting modern practices as “a shortcut to obtain greater profits at the expense of sustainability”. Nearly three decades have now passed since this warning of unsustainability, and the “shortcut” continues to deliver production gains.