Cuba begins lending land to private farmers to boost food production

Communist Cuba is lending unused land to private farmers and cooperatives as part of a sweeping effort to step up agricultural production. Government television says 51 percent of arable land is underused or fallow, and officials are transferring some of it to individual farmers and associations representing small, private producers. The president of Cuba's national farmers association, Orlando Lugo, says "everyone who wants to produce tobacco will be given land to produce tobacco," and it'll be the same for coffee or anything else. While private farms account for a small percentage of Cuba's land, some economists say they produce more than half of its food. The program began last year, but was announced only this week.