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Cuba's 'seed man' wins global environmental prize

P F Tinmore

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Rios' wants to make Cuban farms more sustainable by giving farmers more autonomy — a radical notion in what has long been a strictly top-down planned economy where officials tell producers just what to grow, even if it isn't quite right for the soil.

Government officials at first bristled at his ideas, but his success, along with greater government openness to local autonomy, has led them to grant him unusual and growing leeway in working with 50,000 farmers and counting.

Among those he's helping is 36-year-old Mario Garcia, a private farmer who recently received 10 hectares of formerly state-run land in Bauta under a new program launched in hopes small-scale farmers can help Cuba reduce reliance on imported food.

Cuba's 'seed man' wins global environmental prize - Yahoo! News
 

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