Cuban agriculture has withered for decades under a policy framework that requires cooperatives to sell goods to the state at fixed prices. The system ensures a steady income for farmers, but it also deflects investment. Farmers operate with antiqued or failed machinery. Lack of hard currency means that spare parts are impossible to find. Fortunately, Havana has begun to roll out some reforms. Farmers can now sell surplus crops to the tourism sector. But wholesale change is unlikely until the United States lifts it embargo. Those overseas investors looking at agriculture will need to be patient. The time required to recover capital investment may prove excessive. Without government incentives, most potential sources of capital are likely to see opportunity cost, rather than investment return. ■
Learn more at the BBC
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Image shows greenhouses in Barocoa, Cuba. Credit: Tupungato at Can Stock Photo Inc.