By Lisa Macdonald The Australia Cuba Friendship Society (ACFS) is participating in a project initiated by the San Francisco-based aid organisation Global Exchange to help Cubans grow and process soy beans as a much-needed source of protein for children. As part of its commitment to developing a high standard of living and health care for the people, the Cuban government has had a long-standing policy that every Cuban child should receive free a daily allowance of dairy milk. More than 30 years of economic blockade by the United States has, however, severely undermined Cuba's capacity to meet this goal. The soy milk project is an effort to make up for the shortage of dairy milk and aims to raise US$50,000. The ACFS aims to provide $5000 of this total. With the assistance of a Canadian soy technologist, the first hectares of soy beans, grown in Pinar del Rio province in the west of the island, have now been harvested for seeds to grow the crops for factory processing in the future. It is expected that by late 1996, an additional 268 hectares will be planted to produce an estimated 400 tonnes of beans. In the meantime beans are being imported from Brazil and Canada. For more information about the project, or to make a donation, contact either Friends of the Earth, 312 Smith Street, Collingwood 3065, phone (03) 419 8700, or ACFS, c/- Bert King, 5/33 McLean St, West Brunswick 3055, phone (03) 9386 7725.
Soy bean project in Cuba