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The permanent and temporary crops of the Republic of Cuba cover an area of 3.7 million ha, of which almost half is occupied by sugar cane.

In recent years, there has been a substantial decrease in the use of agricultural inputs in Cuba, with a consequent fall in the yields of most crops. The use of mineral fertilizers fell by 80 percent during the 1990s. The knowledge is available; the Agrochemical Pedological Service, for example, began its activities over a century ago and is still operating. The agro-ecological zones best suited to the different crops have been identified and recommendations are well established. However, in the case of most crops, economic constraints prevent their implementation.

Some priority food crops in Cuba are bananas, potatoes and rice. Despite a reduction in the use of fertilizers, the yield level of the banana crop has been maintained due to improved management and the existence of soil nutrient reserves. The potato crop is given priority by the state; levels of fertilizer application on this crop have remained steady and yield levels have been maintained. The domestic production of rice is far from satisfying domestic demand and there are substantial imports. Yields are well below their potential.

The urban and peri-urban cultivation of crops has been promoted in Cuba in order to alleviate food shortages.

Emphasis is placed on making optimum use of available organic materials and composting. Biofertilizers have been tried as an alternative source of nutrients but their use has declined, apart from Rhizobium.

The fertilizer manufacturing industry of Cuba is no longer operational and all fertilizers are imported.

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