Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Cuba plans to expand ostrich farming

Xinhua | 2012-8-19 13:21:25

By Agencies

The Cuban government plans to expand ostrich farming across the country

to boost local economy and exports.

Ostrich is considered the latest livestock introduced into the island

country, with farms now existing in the provinces of Havana and Granma.

The Ministry of Agriculture is planning to establish six more farms in

other provinces, with the goal to supply the domestic and international

markets, the state news agency Prensa Latina reported.

The first flock of ostriches were imported to Cuba from Mexico by

CENPALAB (the National Center for Laboratory Animal Production) in 1997

as part of a program designed "to diversify the production of healthy

foods and create new export items."

The first commercial farm was established in 2007, when the experimental

farm La Esperanza, in the outskirts of Havana, received 36 ostriches

from the CENPALAB.

Compared to other cattle breeding, ostrich farming carries more economic

benefits since ostrich has high reproduction rate and commercial value.

Its skin can be used for clothes, footwear and fashion jewelry of high

quality. Its meat is highly nutritious, which is sold at high prices at

the international markets. Its egg has a protein power equivalent to

about 23 chicken eggs and the shells, an excellent source for calcium,

are widely used in crafts and decorations.

Oil obtained from the ostrich's abdominal fat is rich in essential fatty

acids (EFAs), which is good for human health and can be utilized by

cosmetic and perfume industry.

Raising ostriches for commercial purpose began in South Africa around

1863. Currently, ostrich farming is among the most profitable

agricultural projects, dubbed the "farms of the future."

Cuba had introduced other exotic species with remarkable success, such

as buffalos from Vietnam two decades ago.

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