Asociacion Cubana de Tecnicos Agricolas y Forestales

ACTAF is an association of agricultural and forestry professionals -technicians, researchers- and is one of the leading NGOs in this field in Cuba. In 2008 ACTAF had approximately 20.600 members organized in 1.462 local groups and 1.570 member-institutions. The mission of ACTAF is to integrate actions and resources which contribute to sustainable and organic agriculture (among other things the so called 'urban agriculture' in Cuba). ACTAF makes this work through supporting its members in their work promoting sustainable agriculture development. For this purpose, it has developed the following strategies: 1) Activities focused on awareness-building and promotion. 2) Formal and informal training activities. 3) Create nationwide demonstration areas that show good practices in sustainable agriculture. ACTAF publishes the four monthly journals 'Agricultura Orgánica'. ACTAF has branches in all 15 provinces of Cuba with a provincial representative and board. ACTAF has an executive committee which is chosen by provincial representatives. The National Board is the highest ruling body that consists of the national secretariat (7 persons), the executive committee with 10 members, and the 15 presidents of each province. The activities of ACTAF are executed through its provincial teams and working groups. In the past few years a municipal structure has been created and strengthened, with municipal coordinators. Every four year an extensive election procedure is started to vote the new representatives of the different levels starting locally in the districts and coming to climax in the national assembly were the president and the members of the executive committee are chosen. So far ACTAF has implemented 32 projects contributing to its mission and has organized several international events on organic and sustainable agriculture. ACTAF is a member of both IFOAM and MAELA.

Type organisatie

Membership organisation


Sustainable Production





Hivos partner sinds




ACTAF Promocion y Desarollo de la cultura agroecologica con enfoque de genero en Cuba

DAC-sectors: Environmental rights and safety
Crop production
Education other (not BSS)
Beneficiary: indigenous peoples, ethnic/religious/cultural minorities
activityAcciones de estimulo de la Agricultura Urbana en Cuba
Direct outreach45 - Policy level/ institutional
Indirect outreach8000 - Beneficiaries: poor and/or marginalised women and men
Contract total:455.000
Contractperiod:01-12-2005 until 31-08-2009 
The programme proposal actually consists of 4 seperate project proposals as for administrational procedures in Cuba only projects are allowed. It has the following objectives:
1) Train and sensibilize the agricltural sector en Cuba in gender equality.
2) Stimulate the integration of the different sub-programmes of Urban Agriculture in a platform for the developement of a agroecological culture in the country.
3) Design and implement a communication system for the different themes of agroecological production, contributing to the formation of an integral agroecological culture in society.
4) Contribute to the management of agroecological agricultural practices, through the involvement of producers and professionals in the developement and promotion of agroecological demonstration areas.

To reach these objectives ACTAF will implement the following activities:
a) Selection of Agroecological producers/ producers showing excellence in production and separately the establishment of demonstration sites for training and promotion programmes leading to improvements in agroecological production; b) Training and extension programmes covering different themes within agroecological agriculture through the use of long-distance learning packages, television programs and other communication means; c) Design and introduction of a certificate for agroecological production awarded to producers/producer groups; d) Train promotors in each province that actively promote gender equyality through organizing workshops and information sessions for members of ACTAF.

An extensive national programme will be set up in which ACTAF plays a coordinating role and in which universities, local & national governamental institutions and other NGO' s are active players.

Reordenamiento Interno de las UBPC

DAC-sectors: Crop production
Live stock
Location:Cuba, Occidente
Beneficiary: small farmers, fishers, pastoralists, forest dwellers
activitySistema de Reorganización de las UBPC
Direct outreach11000 - Beneficiaries: poor and/or marginalised women and men
Indirect outreach6600 - Beneficiaries: poor and/or marginalised women and men
Contract total:23.000
Contractperiod:01-07-2008 until 31-12-2009 
CU007S05 - Reordenamiento Interno de las UBPC

UBPCs (Basic Units for Cooperative Production) were established in1994 from the former state farms, as a response to the deep crisis of the agricultural sector affected by the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Overnight agricultural workers became cooperative members, who received the land lease free and the infrastructure of the former state farms on a credit base resulting in internal weaknesses like lack of cooperative values, leadership, management, organization, technical and economic skills, as well as entrepreneurship of these newly founded and formally autonomous cooperatives. Soon the heavy subsidies of the sector were sharply reduced, leaving the sector with hardly any investment, reduced input provision and a deteriorating infrastructure and machinery. Other internal factors worsened the situation. As there exist 2350 UBPC in Cuba with some 213.00 workers who dispose of 2,5 millions of hectares of arable land (43 % of all arable land), this sector is very important for the agriculture reforms started in 2007, mostly directed at increasing internal Cuban food production. Through Hivos' partner ACTAF the vice minister of Agriculture responsible for the UBPC sector invited several Cuban organizations and institutions and some bilateral and NGO donors to support a one year pilot project to putting into practice in selected UBPCs some of the activities planned to restructuring the UBPCs and transforming these in real cooperatives. The project takes place at two levels: at the national one with the Department for UBPCs of the Ministry of Agriculture, and at the provincial one, in the provinces of Pinar del Río, Matanzas, Sancti Spiritus, and Las Tunas. Activities of the pilot project are: exchange of experiences between Cuban stakeholders, and between stakeholders in Cuba and those of the cooperative movements in Latin America and Europe; designing a new methodology of training (peer to peer training); systematizing four experiences of management in UBPCs supported by funds for the diversification of production; establishing social balances of two UBPC in Pinar del Río; the realization of 4 provincial reflection workshops; on the base of results of this pilot project: the formulation of a 5 year program of supporting the restructuring of the UBPC sector. Hivos supports the activities taking place in the two UBPCs of Pinar del Río: La Miriam and El Mango.

Rehabilitación de los daños en infraestructura productiva y social provocados por el huracán Gustav e Ike en la Provincia de Pinar del Río

DAC-sectors: Food assistance
Non-food relief assistance
Housing (construction)
Location:Pinar del Río, Cuba
Beneficiary: small farmers, fishers, pastoralists, forest dwellers
activityRecuperar infraestructura perdida por huracanes en dos UBPC
Direct outreach230 - Beneficiaries: poor and/or marginalised women and men
Indirect outreach1300 - Beneficiaries: poor and/or marginalised women and men
Contract total:100.000
Contractperiod:15-09-2008 until 14-09-2009 
CU007S06 - Rehabilitación de los daños en infraestructura productiva y social provocados por el huracán Gustav e Ike en la Provincia de Pinar del Río
Within a period of 8 days between August 31 and September 8, two most violent hurricanes in a period of 50 years, Gustav of category 4 and Ike of category 3 - on a scale of 1-5-, crossed the whole of Cuba, and the western Province of Pinar del Río. In Pinar del Río both hurricanes took more or less the same route devastating houses, the electrical system, 90 % of harvests of the main products, livestock, agricultural infrastructure and the whole communication system. Hivos decided to support the reconstruction of two UBPC cooperatives (Basic Units for Cooperative Production), named La Miriam and El Mango, with a total of 1300 family members, both seriously affected. These cooperatives are the ones supported already directly by Hivos as part of and other project with ACTAF (CU007S05). The UBPCs in general are very important for the food production in Cuba. Concrete activities of this project are: a) (Re)construction of the houses of members of both cooperatives and the supply of basics as stoves and some furniture; b) Supply of a set of clothes and shoes to the most affected cooperative members of the UBPCs; c) Reconstruction of the social-productive infrastructure of both UBPCs and their surrounding communities like the schools, administrative buildings, and livestock and agriculture infrastructure; d) Replanting of crops devastated by both hurricanes; e) Preparation and training of the cooperative members in disaster prevention and mitigation.

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