Children and youngsters from Cienfuegos gave away 15 000 seeds of avocado during the last week as part of a campaign led by the agriculture and education officials in the province to contribute to the development of fruit plantations.
“It has been so successful that only in two days we could collect seeds in half of the school centers of the province, an amount close to half of the registration we have in these facilities which reaches 39 000 students”, explains Hansel Valdés, Technical Vice- Director of Education.
“We set cooperation agreements with the farming sector- adds the official- and they demand to expand their areas; that is why by the end of the avocado harvest we asked our students to bring a seed of this fruit quite appreciated as salad and which otherwise would end up in the garbage cans”.
The initiative enables to a greater extent and in shorter time the seeds get to the plant nurseries and be planted for their pre- germination process inserted in substrates rich in nutrients and zeolite which guarantees the achievement of strong plants.
“We already have 10 000 plants and we haven´t picked them up in all educational centers”, assures Rigoberto Aroche, specialist in fruit plantations from Cienfuegos Farming Enterprise. “In three months we graft them and before next March they will be in our fields.
To guarantee this, the municipal plant nursery has a bank for cherimoya, mango, sour sop and avocado leaf buds in four varieties. “The aim- points out Aroche- is keeping a continuous harvest cycle; having avocado all year long”.
This year the territory will double the land extension destined to fruit plantations considering last year, when barely 1 104 hectares were planted. In the first 8 months of 2010 the extension has surpassed 1 753 hectares. From Day Care Centers, Elementary Schools to High Schools the importance of the task is explained, which according to Management Vice- Director of Education in the province, they plan “… to repeat the experience during the mango harvest and with as many others as necessary, so that it turns into an educational method to foster environmental awareness”.
Daniela Liviano, a teenager from Carlos Manuel de Céspedes School in Cienfuegos city assures that “…furthermore the use of these plants for food theses actions contribute to avoid soil erosion; the trees serve as new homes for fauna and of course they purify the air we breathe.”
The 8 municipalities of the province activated this student force to support the creation of avocado seedbeds, to be planted before the end of the year in 600 hectares.
This is an impulse that goes beyond the classrooms to spread the seeds in our fields and in the consciousness of future generations, responsible for food supply and environment security in the country.