The use of Information and Communications Technologies is being expanded to different agricultural spheres in Cuba, as it becomes a pressing need for the sustainable development of this vital sector.

The Cuban government has given top priority to the use of these technologies as part of the informatization process taking place on the island.

The use of Information and Communications Technologies is being expanded to different agricultural spheres in Cuba, as it becomes a pressing need for the sustainable development of this vital sector.One of the key objectives is precisely to boost the production of a sector with a growth rate that is still insufficient and annually compels the government to invest $2 billion in food imports, when half of those foodstuffs could be produced in the country.

ICT AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT

The ICT are directly linked to development, something that is indispensable for increasing agricultural production and exports and replacing imports, Cuba’s Agriculture Minister Gustavo Rodríguez told The Havana Reporter.

It is impossible to have better productive results without developing information technology, automation and communications, Rodríguez said during a technical meeting when referring to the work of the Informatics and Communications Group (EICMA) of the Cuban Agriculture Ministry.

It is worth praising the use of unmanned planes by an agricultural cooperative, which has allowed for the mapping of 20 square kilometers of that entity, saving a considerable amount of time and resources.

According to professor Luis Hernández Santana, head of the automation group from the Marta Abreu University of Las Villas, the drones have multiple uses and the one in agriculture is very important because it provides information about the crops, agrotechnology, irrigation systems, cartography and other spheres.

The results attained have been possible thanks to a practical experience at a cooperative in the central Cuban region of Villa Clara, with financial support and know-how from Belgium and the joint work of experts from the aforementioned university and EICMA.

Santana noted that the exchange of knowledge among all the participants has enabled to fully use that technology and produce drones at a lower cost.

Another project developed for agriculture is the automation system for controlling the different processes in this sector, which allows for 40 percent energy saving compared to the traditional technique, as well as 50 percent water saving in irrigation and dry processes for growing tobacco and other crops.

According to Cuban Information Technology and Communications Deputy Minister Wilfredo González, the informatization policy for the Cuban society involves all the country’s sectors, and agriculture is an essential one.

In addition to the projects mentioned above, there are others already showing goods results at a credit and services cooperative for the production of fruits and other products in Camagüey, as well as for the country’s poultry, pork and beef.

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