Empowered to Farm: María Andrea’s Story
María Andrea Cordero Martín is Cuban, a leader of her farm and a beneficiary of the PROSAM project. She is 67 years old and has been married for 51 years to Javier Peña Salazar, 81. She was born and has always lived on the San Juan Bautista farm, which today is associated with the CCS Antero Regalado (state cooperative), in Las Cañas, Artemisa.
María Andrea was a housewife for several years, sewing, embroidering and working in a textile workshop making shirts. Javier was chief of reproduction at the Los Naranjos Agricultural Farm where he became an inseminating technician.
María Andrea became an agricultural producer when her father grew older and she began to take care of the farm, mainly the administration and management. Her father had always produced various vegetables and crops on 4 hectares of land, and on another 16 hectares he had smaller livestock.
PROSAM has worked with María Andrea since 2015, and from that moment she began a process of mutual learning and has had many experiences that she can share with others. The project has supported her in the creation of new capacities and the realization of several dreams, both on the farm and in her personal development. She has learned about different technologies, agro-ecological practices, gender equality, environmental protection, and many other topics. She has also received a series of resources to improve the farm and ensure the production is organic.
She has the support of her grandchildren in the daily work of the farm, mainly Raudel, who stands out as a new young leader, always listening and following, with attention and respect, the advice and wisdom of his grandmother and grandfather.
Today, with support from PROSAM, María is managing a semi-protected cultivation system for crops and vegetables and an area for the production of various crops, with the purpose of contributing to the local self-supply of food. Semi-protected cultivation is a technology that allows the production of several species of vegetables and legumes. The advantage of semi-protected cultivation is that it is adapted to the local conditions of each territory so that the crops are resilient to climate disasters and reach a higher level of production. For María Andrea, this form of cultivating has been necessary to produce high quality products at all times of the year.
María Andrea is now a content woman, successful and loved by her family and by everyone who knows her. She is focused and committed to producing food for the people of Cuba.