AIDAB/NGO Cooperation Program

Food Gardener Education in Urban Havana, 1995

Final Report from the Field

Part One

(The second half of the report is titled Part Two)

Activity Title: Food Gardener Education in Urban Havana, 1995
Country: Cuba Location: Havana
Sponsoring Australian NGO:

	Australian Conservation Foundation                         
	340 Gore St. Fitzroy,          
	Melbourne, Vic 3065  
	Australia
	tel +61 3 9416 1166
	fax +61 3 9416 0767                                          
	Principle contact: Adam Tiller (03) 9419 1542                
	                 or Greg Smith (03) 9419 3744 (financial & legal matters)
	Email: adamt@peg.pegasus.oz.au                               
	WWW: http://www.peg.apc.org/~adamt
Implementing partner in recipient country, Cuba:
	Proyecto de Permacultura
	La Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre
	Calle 158 #107, altos, esq. Primera A
	Reparto Náutico, Playa
	Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba
	tel +53 7 33 60 90
	Principal contact: Olga Suárez Suárez
	Email: gtcuba@tinored.cu

Brief Project Outline: Objectives: Increased effectiveness of, and numbers of, urban food gardens Increased food security for Havana as a city Increased knowledge and use of medicinal plants Preservation of biodiversity of traditional plant varieties Main Inputs: Project total value A$ 50,000 Paper and printing costs for popular food gardening magazine Australian trainers (2) Educational resources: magazines, books, videos Main Outputs: Model food gardens (20) Community educators (109) to promote food gardening Community food gardening training reaching 30,000 people Community Seed Banks and Seed Saver Network Magazine on food gardening, Se Puede, 5 issues, 10,000 copies per issue y 1 special issue on Medicinal plants Library, information service, planting calendars NGO Contribution: A$ 12,500 public donation A$ 12,500 equivalent contributed in kind" ANCP subsidy A$ 25,000 Start date: March 1995 Finish date: mid-1996 This project had not been previously funded by AusAID.


CONTENTS

1. SUMMARY 2. INTRODUCTION 2.1 History of Project 2.2 The project in the 1995-1996 funding period 3. ACTIVITY SETTING 3.1 Model Gardens 3.1.1 System of volunteer labour 3.1.2 Seed saving project 3.2 Train the Trainer program 3.2.1. Permaculture Urban Gardener Train the Trainer Course 3.2.2. FMC Permaculture Urban Gardener Train the Trainer Course 3.3.3. Permaculture Design Certificate Course 3.2.4. Extension worker training courses 3.3 Community training 3.4 Magazine Se Puede (It is possible) 3.5 Information service 4. ACTIVITY IMPLEMENTATION 4.1 Location 4.2 Implementing Agencies and Arrangements 5. CONCLUSION List of Appendices: Appendix 1: Budget Appendix 2: Organisation List and Acronyms Appendix 3: Costs and Sustainability, Se Puede Appendix 4: Addresses of the model gardens Appendix 5: Train-the-trainer course programs
1. Summary

The main underlying objective of this project was to assist in the transition of Havana towards an environmentally and economically sustainable third world city.

The principal stated objective of increasing the effectiveness of, and numbers of, urban food

gardens, will give the residents of Havana immediate increased food security and diversity.

The project supported a community education campaign to increase food production in urban Havana by conducting Train the Trainer courses linked in with an information centre, organic gardening magazine and system of model gardens. Its objectives were to see the creative use of urban space for food production, and a dramatic increase in the productivity of small urban gardens. The project aimed to assist the provision of food self sufficiency and food security by empowering urban residents to produce food for themselves.

Australian inputs came to the value of $50,000. This included 2 Australian trainers and a stock of educational resources. The Cuban inputs were extensive and included office space, communication equipment, staff to produce the magazine, sites for the model gardens and community trainers to assist in the education of gardeners. The main outputs have been the magazine Se Puede, with 5 issues, agenda, and the booklet Cómo Hacerlo, 109 Cubans trained as community trainers, a seed saving programme and 20 model gardens.

Formal project participation has been occurring with the Proyecto de Permaculture of the Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre (formerly GOFP), el Ministry de la Agriculture, la Federación de Mujeres Cubanas (FMC), Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios de las Relaciones Interamericanas (Cieri), el Instituto Investigaciones Fundamentales en Agricultura Tropical (Inifat), Parque Lenin, el Jardín Botánico, Las Terrazas, Instituto Investigaciones Hortícolas Liliana Dimitrova, el Instituto de Investigaciones de Pastos y Forrajes and the Association of Gardeners of Santa Fe.

The project provided improved security of food supply and diversity and reduced the dependency on centralised economic and planning systems. Home grown food has benefits for community health and disease minimisation. This project seeks to preserve Cuba's achievements in the provision of health, housing and education and avoid social fragmentation precipitated by hunger. The project uses a do-it-yourself approach; it seeks to empower local communities to use available resources and be less dependant on Government systems in the midst of change.

2. Introduction

2.1 HISTORY OF PROJECT

The first Australian volunteers arrived in Cuba in 1994. These volunteers worked with the Groupo de Orientacion ala Familia sobre Permacultura (GOFP ) under the Instituto Cubano de Investigaciones y Orientacion de la Demanda Interna (ICIODI) who became the main project partner. In October 1994 this group was moved under the control of Ministerio de Commercio Interior (MINCIN). Due to the restructuring that is occuring at all government levels, the Cuban project partner could no longer exist under the umbrella of MINCIN. In November 1995 they officially transferred their relationship to the Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre becoming the Proyecto de Permacultura. This provided the neccessary legal and financial structure for the project and the Cuban members of the Green Team.

This move links us into the fledging NGO structure in Cuba through a highly respected ecological Cuban group with high ranking contacts and political security. The Fundación co-ordinates a number of different projects with each project maintaining separate financial organisational structure. (see appendix).

2.2 THE PROJECT IN THE 1995-1996 FUNDING PERIOD

In 1991, the Cuban government established a policy of producing food in the city. Under this policy, Cubans, throughout the province of the Ciudad of Havana were eligible to apply to the State for any vacant land, including vacant lots and disused building sites, to establish a food garden. In this way, land for small scale food production became generally available. This movement is supported by a system of 67 extension workers linked into an extensive network of horticulture clubs.

There are now 26,604 huertos populares (people's gardens) under supervision organized into 813 horticultural clubs. This is a significant achievement, although many of these gardens have only cassava (yuca), sweet potato (boniato), and bananas (platano ) growing, and lack the benefits of basic organic techniques such as mulching or composting.

The initial proposal focused on increasing the numbers of food gardens but when such large numbers of unproductive gardens were found, the project changed its focus slightly to assist in increasing productivity and diversity of existing gardens with the use of organic gardening methods.

It was found that the existing infrastructure and network of the Ministry of Agriculture was the most effective way to reach gardening clubs and disseminate information. We utilised the network of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) in densely populated areas where even minimal land was not available and/or in areas did not have access to the assistance available through the Ministry of Agriculture. This was also an effective way of ensuring gender balance.

A number of recent initiatives are relevant to this project:

- Ministry of Agriculture has employed 67 advisers (extension workers) to promote urban food gardens, at least one for each district of Havana.

- Free trade in surplus agricultural production was legalised in Cuba in October 1994, and 20 markets established in Havana for gardeners to sell their own produce.

- An Association of Cuban Gardeners has been established.

- A German NGO, Agro Action Alemania, has given $US300,000 aid to the Ministry of Agriculture Urban Extension program. Whereby tools have been purchased and made available to the horticulture clubs at very reduced prices.

- The large state farms are being restructured to operate with low fuel inputs and using organic practices. Many have been broken up into autonomous co-operatives.

3. Activity Description and Analysis

Specific Objectives:

The objectives of the project for 1996 had five components; model gardens, a train the trainer program, community training, a magazine and an information service.

3.1 MODEL GARDENS

20 model gardens were established throughout Havana. These were dispersed throughout the city with at least one garden in 13 of the 15 different municipalities making them accessible for ongoing community education. This geographic spread was particularly important given the problems of transportation that currently faces the Cuban population. It also meant that the gardeners were able to see a demonstration garden in very similar physical and economic position to their own. The aim was to have at least one in each municipality, but last minute unforeseen circumstances prevented 2 gardeners from starting the course. See appendix for addresses of the gardens.

The gardens demonstrate a range of productive systems in a variety of situations including plants and animals as appropriate to each municipality. For example in the most densely populated municipality, the demonstration garden is constructed on a roof top using materials locally available such as car tyres. Other types of gardens established include gardens built on converted building rubble, a small community farming area, 2 gardens in childcare centres, a research station and converted ornamental gardens from a project of high-rise apartments.

All practices used in the gardens are sustainable, organic and are appropriate to the local conditions. Emphasis has been placed on making demonstration gardens that are readily reproducible by the local population. For this, all community trainers are gardeners from the local area and resources used are locally available and economically accessible. Although this meant that the process of change was slower, due to a lack of resources and time on the part of the gardeners, in the long-run it was thought far more important to work at a locally appropriate pace. This method was though to be more sustainable as it encouraged community ownership and will help ensure the demonstration gardens continue after funding ceases.

The model gardens act as demonstration sites and as centres for workshops, information and distribution of seeds produced on site. Each garden is linked through the gardening club and directly through the local extension workers to the Ministry of Agriculture's Urban Agriculture program. This gives the demonstration gardens and the community trainers vital support independent of the Australian funding,

Inputs from the project were skills transferral, volunteer labour to help convert to a low-input organic system, tools, organic matter, vermiculture, seeds and printed material. A series of follow-up visits by the Australian volunteers was undertaken. Unfortunately, however, these were limited in two cases by transportation problems to just one visit. Overall, more follow-up is required to help with implementation of ideas and ongoing project management.

Citation as a model garden was granted in recognition of existing work. The garden was then renovated and further developed as necessary. Specifically, this series of model gardens was developed using, primarily, the gardens of people who attended the first course.

Model gardens aimed to:

1. use gardens that were shown to be made by Cubans with local resources. In this way the demonstration gardens are easy to duplicate and relate to every day Cuban life.

2. allow people in the local vicinity to actually watch the garden evolve.

3. have ongoing commitment from people who had direct long-term involvement in the model garden. The original proposal had more emphasis on group or community gardens, but we were surprised to find that when project workers left, gardens without an ongoing personal commitment didn't function as effectively. These gardens would not be sustainable in the long term as motivation wasn't being maintained. As it stands, 4 of the 20 model gardens are community managed gardens. However these are maintained by small groups that have a high level of ongoing commitment from members.

Throughout 1995, the process of developing model gardens was begun with the selection of gardens, training of the gardeners and implementing the conversion process. To achieve true model garden status, however, more time and physical assistance is necessary

3.1.1 System of volunteer labour

In order to enhance the model gardens we feel it is necessary to further develop a volunteer program to exchange skills and provide physical assistance with labour. The green team receives many enquiries from overseas visitors requesting placement and has started to develop a system for channelling these volunteers into the model gardens. In the funding period, overseas volunteers were used with mixed success. In some cases, workers were very willing and came with important knowledge and work skills. Unfortunately, the system was not wholly successful and some time was wasted on volunteers that did not end up giving much input into the project. A more developed system and a better screening process will help eliminate the problems from this program.

3.1.2 Seed saving project

The original proposal was to establish seed nurseries within the model gardens but this was not found to be the most practical option for the following reasons;

1. shortage of seeds.

2. lack of resources available

3. the portion of the budget allocated to this area was insufficient at this time.

As a way of addressing this problem the project decided to channel the resources into the seed savers program. The seed savers program was developed in 1995 with aims and objectives which complimented the food gardener educator in Havana project. The model gardens have incorporated seed production within the other aspects of the garden system.

3.2 TRAIN THE TRAINER PROGRAM

The train-the-trainer programs undertaken by this project trained community educators to promote food gardening. This model provided for a rapid transfer of skills. The train-the-trainer program was directly funded by the project and facilitated by the Proyecto de Permacultura de la Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre and the Australian project team. Each program was undertaken jointly with a relevant Cuban organisation or government agency (see list below).

The programs were based on techniques and principles of Permaculture, and taught organic gardening methods (i.e. fertility and pest management maintained without the use of commercial chemical biocides). Nutrition, basic Permaculture design, community training skills and community motivation were also featured throughout the courses.

109 community trainers were trained throughout the 1995 - 1996 funding period. The trainers were drawn from a wide spectrum of the urban population ensuring the most effective transferral of information. The project tried to maintain a gender balance throughout the program. In the first course the student selection process did not satisfy this aim, as only 10% were women. The problem was addressed with the second course which was run specifically for women. In subsequent courses gender balance was maintained and overall, 57% of participants were women.

Of the community trainers

25 are from the local community

17 are community workers from the Federation of Cuban Women

12 are Urban Agriculture extension workers from the Ministry of Agriculture (intensively trained)

55 are Urban Agriculture extension workers received the series of extension worker training workshops (se 3.2.4).

The curriculum was developed by the Australian Volunteers in conjunction with the Cuban project partners with further advice from Cuban and Australian experts including The Institute of Pastures and Forrages, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Cuban Women's Federation, The Santa Fe Horticulture Club, The Permaculture Institute, The Seed Savers Network and Permaculture Global Assistance Network.. Curriculums remained flexible and were altered as necessary for each course to meet the needs and expectations of the students.

Three train the trainer courses were run throughout the period;

1. Permaculture Urban Gardener Train the Trainer Course

2. FMC Permaculture Urban Gardener Train the Trainer Course.

3. The Inaugural Permaculture Design Certificate Course

The project also assisted in the Ministry of Agriculture extension worker training programs

The structure of the courses were modified in each case to reflect the needs of the target group. It was realised, for example, that the intensive nature of the first course precluded a high rate of involvement for women due to their ongoing daily responsibilities. For this reason, a women's course was designed that ran one day a week over 6 weeks. This structure was decided in consultation with the Cuban Women's Federation and was found to be suitable to the needs of the Cuban women.

Special attention was paid to the selection of students in each case. The course were given for free on the condition that students become community trainers and develop demonstration gardens or disseminate information through their workplace. For the first two courses, this selection was carried out through existing grass roots networks where agriculture extension workers or the Federation community development workers nominated appropriate students. In the third, students were selected through our own networks.

The majority of the educational equipment and curriculum resources were produced in Havana with some being brought from overseas. For example: booklets, course materials and teaching aids were all produced locally. Supplementary video material, cartoons and books were brought from Australia or Mexico.

For the first course transportation was organised for the students to the Institute of Pastures and Forages, in Cangrejas, 22km form Centro Havana, but this, and the cost of hiring the Institute as a venue, was found to be prohibitively expensive. It was also not sustainable as it used resources that would be unavailable in the long term to the community trainers. Subsequent courses were therefore held in a more central location that was easily accessible, with an emphasis on urban conditions. Transport was only required for field trips.

Throughout all the courses an interactive approach was taken utilising techniques such as role plays, group work and practical exercises. Although the majority of the students hadn't encountered these teaching methods before, they responded with great enthusiasm, and it proved to be a very effective way of transferring information.

3.2.1. Permaculture Urban Gardener Train the Trainer Course

This course was held over 6 consecutive days at the el Instituto de Investigaciones de Pastos y Forrajes (IIFP) from the 26th of June to the 1st of July. Transport was provided to all course members from pick-up points spread throughout the City of Havana to the Institute in Cangrejas. IIFP was chosen as a venue for the course because of its facilities resources and space to hold the practical and theoretical components of the course.

Participants were selected by the extension workers from each municipality. Selection criteria was based on enthusiasm, interest in organic methods, and in particular, on their communication skills and willingness to disseminate information. It was also necessary that each student had an existing garden that was viewed for its potential to be a demonstration garden. Participants were required to make a commitment to act as community trainers, passing on their skills to other members of their club and other clubs within their area, and to develop their garden into a model garden.

24 students completed the course. Teachers included staff members from el Instituto de Investigaciones de Pastos y Forrajes, the Proyecto de Permacultura of the Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre (PPFNH) and the Australian volunteers.

2 course participants obtained employment as extension workers based on qualification gained in this course.

3.2.2. FMC Permaculture Urban Gardener Train the Trainer Course

This course was held one day a week over six weeks from the 11th of October to the 15th of November. The course was held at the FMC Provincial headquarters in the central area of Havana It was readily accessible by public transport and so organised transport was only needed for field trips.

Of the 23 participants, 17 were Federadas (i.e. elected women that work in the Municipal FMC Houses in community development), the other 6 were women chosen by Federadas for their communication skills and proven committment This course had an emphasis on providing skills to enable the establishment of food gardens in densely populated areas with little or no available land. Participants made a commitment to establish food gardens on balconies, rooftops and in any available land e.g. beside pathways, and to hold workshops and pass on skills to the community through their workplace.

The FMC was highly supportive of the course and provided the venue and transport, and allowed participants the time to attend. Most importantly, the FMC actively encouraged the participants to assume the ideals of the course in their work programmes. The project, in return, supported the FMC with money to assist in the cost of lunches for the participants and workers of the office.

Teachers included staff of PPFNH and the Australian Volunteers plus guest lecturers from the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios de las Relaciones Interamericanas (Cieri).

Field trips included visits to some of the model gardens of the first course participants.

Another model garden was commenced at a nearby childcare centre as an ongoing practical exercise.

3.2.3. Permaculture Design Certificate Course

The Permaculture Design Certificate Course held by this project was the first International Design Course held in Cuba. The course is a standard course as recognised by the International Permaculture Institute and therefore holds international qualification.

The Urban Food Gardener Education Project Permaculture Design Certificate course was held for 15 days over 8 weeks and was an advanced course for 30 students comprised of representatives of the above train-the-trainer courses, Ministry of Agriculture extension workers, specialists working in relevant fields and staff of the Proyecto de Permacultura of the Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre. The course followed the curriculum guidelines of the International Permaculture Institute, adapted to a Cuban context (see appendix No. 6 for course program). The course was held at the FMC municipal office. Throughout the course there was an emphasis on group process and use of local knowledge.

Teachers included the students themselves who were encouraged to give presentations in the field of their expertise. In the topics of reforestation, train the trainer, nutrition and retro-fitting a house to be more energy efficient, where knowledge of Cuban conditions was particularly necessary, it was thought more appropriate to feature Cuban experts. Overseas guest lecturers presented on the topics of bio-regionalism, integrated pest management, social aspects of Permaculture and Permaculture design. This course also linked with the seed saver project by including extensive classes in seed collection, seed preservation and genetic diversity, given by the 2 visiting Australian members of the seed saving project.

Whilst the Permaculture Design Certificate Course was not initially included in the proposal, over time, it became apparent that this would be the most appropriate course. This was evident by the interest and requests of ex-students, specialists and the staff of the Proyecto de Permacultura of the Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre who previously had not had access to this level of Permaculture qualifications. In the past, the only thing that separated some of the students from the Australian volunteers was this qualification. Bridging this gap empowered the Cuban project partners and was an important step in the process of skills transfer and partner-agency capacity building. The course was an important step in building the long-term sustainability of the project and will ensure that the project outcomes extend long beyond the time-frame of the project.

3.2.4. Extension worker training courses

Another important aspect of the train-the-trainer program was solidifying support with the Ministry of Agriculture. We were invited to develop the curriculum and present classes for the ongoing Agriculture extension worker training program. Whilst the Ministry of Agriculture has a very effective structure for information dissemination via the extension workers, many are recent graduates who have trained in broad-acre systems and unfamiliar with small scale urban gardens. During this funding period there has been 7 workshops of 2 to 4 days duration, one each in the area of soils, water, seed production, pest management, small animals, agroeosystems, communication and strategies of extension. Our involvement ensured an emphasis in organic, intensive, low resource techniques which would increase the effectiveness of the extension workers and ensure that the techniques be passed on through their day-to-day work to Havana's 26,000 gardens.

3.3. COMMUNITY TRAINING

109 community trainers provided training and support into their local community. The trainers motivated members of the community to take up gardening and helped pass on organic techniques to local gardeners. Due to the special period, and to a lack of variability and availability of vegetables, many people throughout Havana had taken up gardening but often, due to lack of skills and limited access to resources, they received low yields, produced a very limited range of vegetables and become quickly disenchanted with the gardening process. It was found, therefore, that the area of greatest need was not the initial motivation but early follow up work with the new gardeners.

The time and manner of this information distribution process varied greatly and was dependent on the trainer and the trainees. Examples of training methods used were weekend workshops, evening talks, formal classes and informal hands-on exchange. There was a tendency for each of the groups of community trainers to impart information in a different way;

1. IIPF - through the horticulture clubs, hands on practical demonstration, use of demonstration gardens, some formal talks and workshops, word-of-mouth informal exchange.

2. FMC - talks and workshops, through local FMC houses, some hands-on exchange and demonstration gardens, word-of-mouth informal exchange.

3. Extension workers - through the workplace and their daily work as extension workers in the field, workshops and lectures, word-of-mouth informal exchange.

The community educators trained by this project received follow-up support to conduct these food gardening workshops and awareness programs in their own communities which directly reached 30,000 people throughout the year. An important objective of this support was that each community educator be able to use either their own garden as a demonstration garden or were able to incorporate the concepts into their mainstream work. Each community trainer received support visits from the staff of the Proyecto de la Permacultura of the Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre in conjunction with the Australian trainers and some follow-up training (e.g. saving, Permaculture design course).

Resources provided by the project to the community trainers included: planting material, reference books (Plantas Medicinales, Agricultura Viva), organic matter, worms, Se Puede, course materials, Cómo hacerlo permaculture booklet, calendar with information on organic gardening, seeds, loans of books and videos.

Resources provided by community trainers to beginning gardeners; Cómo hacerlo permaculture booklet, calendar with information on organic gardening, seeds, worms, loans of books and videos.

3.4 MAGAZINE Se Puede (It is possible)

The magazine has been produced with the Cuban project partners since 1994 as a practical, organic gardening magazine. The information in Se Puede is of a practical nature and is written specifically to suit the physical and socio-economic conditions prevailing in Havana at this time. The magazine includes articles and also news on locations of gardens, seed availability, talks and events. The cover price has been set low enough to be easily affordable for all Cuban adults whilst providing assistance to production costs. Given the current economic situation in Cuba, it was found to be impossible for the magazine to be financially self-supporting, therefore, the cost of production was subsidised by the project. This was seen to be necessary as throughout the funding period the magazine was considered a vital source of information and integral to the education programme (see appendix 4: Costs and Sustainability, Se Puede).

In 1995 -96 funding period there were 5 issues. 4 normal issues of 10,000 copies, plus 1 special edition of the magazine. This special edition was a production of a 100 page book, "Saber y hacer sobre plantas medicinales" (To know, grow, and use medicinal plants).

Distribution was through the network of more than 50 government newspaper kiosks that can be found in all neighbourhoods throughout Havana and in each of the provincial capitals. This ensured the widest possible distribution of the newsletter.

In January 1995 Se Puede was one of three periodicals being published in Cuba. Due to this scarcity of up-to-date reading material and the interest in Se Puede the magazine gets handed around from reader to reader and has a very high readership (between 15,000 and 50,000). It is very popular and is quickly snapped up at the kiosks. Generally all 10,000 copies are bought within the first few days of sale.

Throughout the period, significant improvements were made in the accessibility and readability of the magazine which had previously been in prohibitively small type. Feedback was very positive regarding these changes.

Work is also being done to introduce subscriptions which would better direct supply. This, however, is difficult given the current conditions of the Cuban postal service. A reader survey is planned for 1996.

Production of the magazine was through the Proyecto de Permacultura of the Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre. They have 3 journalists, 1 illustrator and one administrator (2 women, 3 men).

3.5 INFORMATION SERVICE

The project maintained an office with a library and resources. The library proved very popular

and contains 198 books or booklets in Spanish and English including 10 copies of Introduction to Permaculture, in spanish, and 10 copies of Agriculture Sostenible. In part the popularity of the library was due to the scarcity of written information and the absence of lending libraries. Although Havana is well equipped with public libraries the information they contain is generally at least a decade old and none of the books can be borrowed. 71 new books were added throughout the funding period. Due to its popularity, the library needs to be improved, particularly increasing the numbers of texts in Spanish. At present, it can't keep up with the high demand.

A video library was started in 1995 with videos related to Green Medicine, urban gardening and Permaculture. At present the video library contains 7 videos which are used primarily as a teaching resource although are available for loan.

The library also acted as an information centre answering public enquiries and giving presentations as required. The centre receives constant enquiries, on average 20-30 telephone calls and drop-ins per week.

The project presented at four major conferences throughout the funding period: the Second Organic Agriculture Conference, Organic Agriculture Association of Cuba, May 1995; the First Conference of Urban Agriculture, INIFAT, November 1995; the 7th Conference on Environment and Sustainbility, OSPAAL, August, 1995 and the Conference of Women Creators, Federation of Cuban Women, March 1996. It also and made 19 presentations for groups including Majin, Cubans only Womens NGO and the Metropolitan park and gave one press conference. Group members have given four radio interviews and information on the project has been covered in the radio "noticias", which give updated information about the city and Granma International.

The information service was managed as a team by the Proyecto de Permacultura of the Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre and the Australian volunteers. It also assisted with production of education materials, preparing course material, posters, pamphlets and the permaculture booklet. The centre is an important resource for supporting the growing network of ecological groups in Havana. It was intstrumental, for example, in forming the Cuban Association of Organic Farmers.

Email is used for information exchange within and outside Cuba.

Continued in Part Two of ANCP 95 report