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Gelma: Supporting Cuban agriculture

The state enterprise group, founded in May 2001, is responsible for distributing wholesale goods and offering specialized technical services in the agricultural sector

26 de julio de 2017 - Taken from Granma

Stimulating agricultural development in Cuba is prioritized within the new management model of the Logistics Enterprise Group (Gelma), affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture.

The state enterprise group, founded in May 2001, is responsible for distributing wholesale goods and offering specialized technical services in the agricultural sector.

María del Carmen Fages Plasencia, Gelma vice president, states that the enterprise’s main function is distribution management, where the principal protagonist is the agricultural producer.

The group is composed of 24 entities with 229 branches nationwide. In order to provide producers with quality service, the entity has a budget of 34 million pesos to purchase tractors and other agricultural machinery.

With the aim of stimulating production, Gelma works with other entities such as the Agricultural Workshop Enterprise. Bernardo González Chávez, director general of the facility, explains that their primary function is providing services to the country’s various agricultural production entities.

“We have Basic Units of Production (UEB) in all provinces with a total of 3,186 workers. There are around 26 workshops on the island with 60 specialized services brigades responsible for fixing any and all machinery related problems.”

Work is currently being focused on programs of national priority, such as the agricultural products purchasing system (Acopio) and the Mayarí Development Project in the province of Holguín, responsible for carrying our maintenance works on the East-West water diversion system, for more efficient use of the resource.

Another institution affiliated with Gelma is the recently established Informatics and Communications Enterprise (Eima).
According to José Milanés Martínez, Eima director, the entity offers services across five key areas: communications, computer applications development, telematics, office suites, and software.
“We are currently developing a computer program to manage all Gelma’s inventories, called Visor. A pilot test will be run in various provinces in August,” he notes.

Meanwhile, Eima has also helped agricultural producers to make better use of their time and resources by providing them with internet access-enabled computers.

The Ministry of Agriculture’s Projects and Engineering Enterprise (Enpa) is another of Gelma’s affiliates, a new member of the group. Its main services include, according to technical director José Antonio Castro, consultation and design for large-scale production centers.

The entity has a staff of 1,261 workers and despite having only recently joined the Gelma group, is already undertaking several projects with small-scale producers, including topographic surveys, land leveling, road mapping, and terrain assessment studies.

Gelma is the only wholesale distribution enterprise in Cuba which sells its products in Cuban National Pesos, and despite persistent shortcomings, such as delays in supply deliveries, its commitment to seriousness and professionalism is evident.