Cuba has announced another reform in an effort to boost its ailing economy. It is giving small farmers and agricultural cooperatives the right to work more state-owned land. The long-promised decree by President Raul Castro is being seen as one his most significant measures in a bid to make the country more self sufficient.
Cuba desperately needs to increase its food production to replace costly imports. Rising food prices mean officials expect to spend an extra one billion euros this year, so the law is being widely welcomed.
Previous moves to decentralise agriculture management and increase supplies have fallen victim to highly ineffective methods. Some experts have warned that this latest reform will fail unless the government provides equipment and other resources to meet farmers needs.