The Unidad Empresarial de Base Cultisur, in the Camagüey municipality of Santa Cruz del Sur, is applying various alternatives in the development of its basic activity in the face of a shortage of imported food, which allows it to maintain production.

Modifying sowing densities, such as three animals per square metre, is one of the variants, through which they have obtained yields of 290 and 300 kilograms per hectare, by using mixtures with products from local industries such as brewer’s grains, brewer’s yeast, honey and other by-products.

They also implement the sowing of up to six animals per square metre, where they combine the aforementioned forms and low amounts of imported feed.

Miguel Manso Díaz, head of production of the business unit, explained that in a complex year for shrimp farming in the country, mainly due to the limitations on imports for intensive farming, the entity is promoting the semi-intensive modality.
This year’s plan is for 1,700 tonnes of shrimp, and of the 808 tonnes planned to date, only 428 have been reached.

The Santa Cruz del Sur shrimp farm has seven production farms totalling 723 hectares, of which 653 are working today, and nine ponds are out of service, he said.
However, they do not stop in their efforts and are working on the cultivation of another 12 million shrimp postures, which represent 200 hectares.

Manso Díaz pointed out that the University of Camagüey Ignacio Agramonte Loynaz is supporting this work, and that they benefit from a local initiative project focused on the cultivation of tilapia and also includes a mini-industry, where they obtain alternative productions.

The director said that they currently peel shrimp that is not destined for export, and obtain value-added assortments in formats of 300 grams, 500 grams, and one and two kilograms, which are sold on the domestic market in search of more favourable income for the company’s finances.

As part of the projects, the promotion of tilapia breeding also stands out, and the company already has almost 200,000 sex-reversed tilapia fry in its facilities, a condition that allows them to adapt to the salinity of the fattening ponds.

In the first quarter of the calendar year, Cultisur exported three containers of shrimp, but during the second half of the year, this programme is limited due to the low average weights, which do not exceed 10 grams of the crustacean.