Tabacaleros tabaco

Cuba produced between January and June less than half of the planned tobacco

MIAMI, United States.- The official newspaper Granma reported this Tuesday that the Cuban state tobacco company produced from January to June of this year less than half of what was planned, and as consequences it cited, among others, the “lack of direct materials ”.

The news confirms that there is no sector of the national economy that has not been affected by the current crisis in the country. The problems are destroying the tobacco and sugar industry, iconic productions of the Caribbean island.

According to a note from the EFE news agency, Tabacuba fulfilled in the first six months of the year only 47% of the production plan in its four plants throughout the country.

The company mentioned among the causes the “lack of direct materials”, of cigarette paper, and boxes and wrappers, which even led to the “stoppage of factories in January, March and May.”

State media also pointed to machinery breakdowns in factories, logistical and transportation problems, as well as issues arising from the pandemic.

This situation, which also occurred in 2021, has caused “instability” in the “distribution in the retail sales network” of tobacco within Cuba.

According to the note, in June of last year, “to avoid hoarding and resale”, the territorial governments began to distribute national cigarettes through the supply book, but “it was expected that by the first quarter of 2022 the panorama could change”, however, “we are in August and the situation is still complex”, acknowledged Granma.

The official newspaper assured that in a large part of the country “consumers are faced with the dilemma of buying packs on the black market at prices that can exceed 200 pesos (the official price is 120 pesos), or queuing at stores in freely convertible currency (MLC)”, to purchase tobacco in foreign currency.

The tobacco harvest, the fourth largest sector by income in Cuba, went from 32,000 tons in 2017 to 25,800 in 2020, according to official data.

This sector employs about 200,000 workers, rising to 250,000 at the peak of the harvest.

Recently, the Minister of Agriculture, Ydael Pérez Brito, assured that 2021 had been one of the worst years for the Cuban countryside in the last decade.

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