Cuba's Agrifood System in Transition


Collection launched: 12 Feb 2016

Guest Editors

Margarita Fernandez, Vermont Caribbean Institute, Cuba-US Agroecology Network, University of Vermont
Erin Nelson,  Sociology and Anthropology, University of Guelph
Fernando Funes Aguilar, Indio Hatuey Agricultural Experimental Station
Kim Locke, Sustainability Transitions Associate Editor, Dartmouth
Galia Figueroa, Center for Development Research, University of Bonn

Cuba is recognized globally as a leader in sustainability initiatives, particularly in the agriculture sector where Cuban scientists and farmers have advanced agro-ecological approaches in response to the food and economic crisis spurred by the fall of the Socialist Bloc in the early 1990s.

On December 17, 2014, President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro simultaneously announced the start of normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Since then, restrictions on travel and collaboration between the two countries have already been relaxed. Normalized relations open new opportunities for engagement within the agricultural sector, and also raise many questions about effects on Cuba’s current agriculture and food systems.

This Special Feature aims to foster exchange and dialogue on Cuba’s agrifood system, from past and current sustainability successes and challenges to recommendations for continuing evolution towards sustainability under normalized relations with the U.S. To start the discussion, we are inviting Cuban and non-Cuban researchers, practitioners and policy makers to examine social, economic and ecological strategies for a sustainable agrifood system as well as barriers to the scale-up and scale-out of these successes in Cuba. How normalization of relations may affect Cuba’s food system is also a critical topic ripe for sharing insights and information.

We welcome submissions of research articles, policy and practice bridge articles, and commentaries to this Special Feature to address a wide range of relevant biophysical, social and economic topics, including: soil conservation and improvement; organic nutrition and bio-stimulants; agro-ecological pest management; silvo-pastoral systems; participatory plant breeding; agro-ecology integrated ecosystems; renewable energy and integrated food-energy systems on farms; livelihoods; gender equality; farmer to farmer extension methodology; trade; food security and sovereignty; supply chain management; agricultural economics; farmer cooperative structures, etc.

Although Elementa has no page limit for submitted manuscripts, please find below broad guidance on page length for each article types for this Special Feature :

  • Research Article – We suggest an approximate length of 15–25 pages of double-spaced body text, excluding tables, figures and references.

  • Policy Bridge and Practice Bridge – Recommended length is approximately 10–15 pages of double-spaced body text, excluding tables, figures and references.

  • Commentary - Recommended length is approximately 8–12 pages of double-spaced body text, excluding tables, figures and references.

Submission inquiries can be directed to guest editor Margarita Fernandez ( and Sustainability Transitions domain Associate Editor Kim Locke (klocke at elementascience dot org).

Currently accepting submissions