Strengthening Australia-Cuba cooperation through urban food security

Project summary

1 September 2016

Thousands of small organic fruit and vegetable kiosks are the front line of Cuba's urban food security. Credit: Adrian Hearn

Sector: Building Cultural Understanding / Society and Culture

Country location: Brazil, Australia, Cuba

Grantee: A/Prof Adrian Hearn

Project Description

During the 2016 Austrade mission to Havana led by Special Envoy for Trade Hon. Andrew Robb, Cuban officials indicated that their nation's economic predicament and commercial aspirations are generating new pressures for urban food security. Optimising water use, minimising pollutant risks on urban crops, and commercialising organic production are among the new priorities. 

Building on Australia's longstanding commitment to Cuba's urban food program, this project addresses these emerging pressures through a combination of technical exchange and support to community education and training. It establishes cooperation between Cuba's leading agro-ecology institution (the Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation), the University of Melbourne, and the Melbourne-based Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES) to offer mutual learning synergies and practical outcomes.

Having lived in Cuba for three years, project leader Dr. Adrian Hearn was a member of the 2016 Austrade mission to Havana and in 2012 co-authored the AusAID Concept Note on Australia-Cuba Cooperation in health services. He is currently leading a project comparing localised urban food security strategies in Australia, Brazil, and China with funding from the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). This project draws insights from emerging international best practices to build collaboration around nutritional health and ecological resilience.

Social media: Facebook, University of Melbourne website, CERES website

Council on Australia Latin America Relations grant offer: $44,000

Total project value: $55,386

Last Updated: 16 August 2016