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November 8, 2017

Signing of Grant Agreement with Cuba: Providing agricultural machinery to increase rice production

photosigning ceremony

On November 7, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement (G/A) with the Government of the Republic of Cuba in Havana to provide grant aid of up to 1.215 billion yen for the Project for Improvement of Agricultural Machinery for Advances in Rice Seeds Production Techniques.

This project aims to increase the production of rice seeds and stabilize the supply of rice seeds by providing the equipment needed for rice seed production in eight provinces and one special municipality in Cuba.

Rice is a major food staple of Cuba, but the country’s self-sufficiency in the crop is low, approximately 40 percent (2012, according to the National Office of Statistics), and increasing rice production is a priority. In order to do so, high-quality seeds of superior rice varieties must be produced in higher volumes and distributed more widely in major rice-growing areas. Since 2003, JICA has provided cooperation in introducing good rice varieties suitable for the local characteristics and extended production techniques for those varieties.

The production system of rice seeds is currently transiting from large-scale state-run farms to individual farmers and others, and the equipment available for farmers is so extremely limited that plowing, field flooding and other field preparation work is not carried out properly, leading to disparities in how rice plants are raised. For the transplanting process of seedlings to rice paddies, direct sowing and cultivation is the primary mode due to an inadequate number of transplanting machines, leading to densely planted fields and a proliferation of weeds. Given these circumstances, there is a need to provide the proper machinery and create a system for more suitable rice-paddy cultivation to enhance the productivity of high-quality rice seeds.

This project aims to improve the access to machinery for rice-seed producing farmers, and improve the unit crop from rice paddy transplant production by 20 percent, thereby increasing the production of rice in Cuba.

For more than a decade, JICA has provided continuous technical cooperation to promote rice cultivation in Cuba, and most recently has assisted in the transfer and extension of production technology for good-quality rice seeds in the Project for Extension and Diffusion of Technologies for Certified Rice Seed Production in the Central Zone of Cuba, technical cooperation implemented from 2012 to 2016. Through the the Project on Improvement of Agricultural Extension System for Grain Production in Cuba from 2016 to 2019, JICA is improving cultivation techniques by strengthening the agricultural extension system, and, with the current project, is developing inclusive support toward increased rice production in Cuba.

[Basic project information]
Country Republic of Cuba
Project title Project for Improvement of Agricultural Machinery for Advances in Rice Seeds Production Techniques
Planned implementation period 15 months, including detailed design work and the bidding period
Executing agency Ministry of Agriculture and Agriculture Enterprise Group
Target region, facilities Camagüey, Ciego de Ávila, Cienfuegos, Granma, Matanzas, Pinar del Río, Sancti Spíritus and Villa Clara Provinces, and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud

Specific project details (provisional) 1. Equipment procurement
Tractors, rotary tillers, tires suitable for rice paddies, transplanting machines, combine harvesters, tray-type seeding machines, nursery boxes, spare parts
2. Consulting services
Detailed design work, bidding assistance

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