The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) has carried out a performance evaluation of the Cooperative Rural Development Project in the Oriental Region (PRODECOR). The project was implemented in Cuba between 2014 and 2021. It was the first IFAD project in the country following suspension of its activities during the 1980s.
PRODECOR was designed to reduce the technological lag in the agriculture sector in Cuba. The project sought to increase production and productivity for two strategic crops – maize and beans – and to strengthen the technical and productive capacities of production service providers.
The evaluation found that PRODECOR introduced several innovations in processing basic grains, which helped reduce post-harvest losses. At the household level, PRODECOR enhanced producers’ technical knowledge and, to a lesser degree, smallholder incomes and assets. However, harvest yields were well below expectations, to a large extent owing to the limited supply of agricultural inputs and spare parts of machinery, due to the reintroduction of trade sanctions. Moreover, the sustainability of the benefits obtained is at risk, as the project does not have a concrete plan to deal with climate-related risks and with the scarcity of agricultural inputs and spare parts.
For the future, the evaluation recommends that IFAD support a package of actions to protect natural resources and build resilience to climate change. In addition, the Fund should also promote the operationalization of national reforms on value addition to products, markets and value chains, as well as the adoption of immediate measures to strengthen the sustainability of project results.