The University of Havana (UH) and the Canadian company International Zeolite Corp (IZC) signed on February 16, 2022 a contract for the production of fertilizers created by Cuban researchers, according to official Cuban media.
According to a report by Prensa Latina news agency, the Canadian company would be in charge of producing the Nerea fertilizer, developed by specialists of the Institute of Materials Science and Technology (IMRE), of the University of Havana, and which uses zeolite extracted in Cuba; in the opinion of experts, among the best quality in the world.
The agreement would pave the way for foreign investment in the Cuban fertilizer industry in particular, as well as expansion in the Canadian market.
In that sense, work is underway to start as soon as possible a pilot production in search of registration under Canadian conditions, according to Gerardo Rodríguez, PhD in Science, who together with engineer Lorenzo Rivero invented Nerea in 1987.
Nerea, which prompted the creation of the Cuban zeolite industry, transfers to the zeolitic material the nutrients required by plants in the optimal amount and proportions, mainly nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, according to the media.
Cuba has a production plant that has been operating for two years through a contract between the UH and Geominera Oriente, in Holguín province, but according to the expert “the family of fertilizers and controlled-release substrates has an unsatisfied demand”.
The general director of the Foundation for Innovation and Development of the UH, Vilma Hidalgo, thanked her counterpart for the trust placed in the product. She also highlighted the work and perseverance of an IMRE team for more than 35 years so that “this fertilizer reaches the country’s agriculture and has an impact”, she said, quoted by PL.
On the Canadian side, IZC president Mark Pearlman said this is the beginning of a collaboration to solve environmental problems and demonstrate Cuba’s contribution in North America, since Nerea “will allow farmers to grow more food, feed more people, for less money,” the source said,
Likewise, the director of IMRE-UH, Nancy Martínez, considered the signing with International Zeolite Corp (IZC) as a success for the university foundation but also for the nation, based on the call of the Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, to support actions in Science and Innovation.