Increasing Use of Natural Products in Cuban Agriculture

HAVANA._ Almost one million hectares of diverse crops will benefit this year from the application of Fitomas-E, a natural bio-stimulant developed by Cuba’s Sugarcane By-product Research Institute (ICIDCA), which plans to produce 2.2 million liters of the product in 2014.

Barbara Rodriguez, Business Manager at the ICIDCA, told the Prensa Latina news agency that even though most of the Fitomas-E produced in the country is applied to sugarcane to stimulate growth, its use has increasingly spread to other crops like tomato, malanga (taro root), beans, tobacco, and fruits, where it has also proven to be highly beneficial.

This bio-stimulant has an anti-stress action and is applied to leaves and roots to counteract the effects of nutritional deficiencies, drought, excessive humidity, and plagues.

The ICIDCA, which is part of the Azcuba business group, has two FitoMás production plants: a pilot plant that operates in Havana at the institution itself –with production capacity of two million liters annually – and another that opened recently at the Ciro Redondo sugar mill in the central province of Ciego de Ávila.

The two plants are expected to jointly produce more than four million liters of bio-products in the future, thus meeting internal demand.

The research center also has developed Fitomas-M and H, in addition to other products for agricultural purposes.

The ICIDCA was founded on May 23, 1963 by Ernesto Che Guevara. Its main objective is to provide scientific support for the development of technologies that allow for the beneficial and comprehensive use of sugarcane, said Rodríguez.

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