This year's harvest is announced even worse than the previous one and Cuba will have to import sugar

This year’s harvest is announced even worse than the previous one and Cuba will have to import sugar

State monopoly Azcuba itself has filled its latest statements with caution when announcing the start of this year’s sugar harvest on the island: no good news is in sight for the sector.

“The most important thing is to talk with the sugar workers about the difficult conditions in which the country will carry out this harvest,” he warned. Jorge Luis Tapia Fonseca, Deputy Prime Minister, during a meeting with officials and producers from Matanzas.

An industry expert, who gave remarks anonymously to Reuters, put it bluntly: “The industry has more or less collapsed. The situation is worse this year than it was in the past and it will take time to reverse it.”

“For the workers of the recently created agro-industrial sugar companies, it was not easy at all to face the period of repairs, both for the factory and agricultural machinery”

The British agency recalled this Wednesday that the Government transformed its 56 plants into separate companies that will include local plantations and that they will be able to set wages and cane prices as well as maintain control of 80% of their export earnings.

“For the workers of the recently created agro-industrial sugar companies, it was not easy at all to face the period of repairs, both of the factory and agricultural machinery, under the pressure of enormous limitations of spare parts, supplies and other material resources, and in between, in addition, the scourge of covid-19 in the most critical months of the pandemic, “explained Azcuba in a note this tuesday.

In it, he informs that the harvest, which normally starts in November, will begin late, on December 5 at the 14 de Julio plant in Cienfuegos.

Tapia Fonseca insisted on a “critical analysis” that “you have to pay more to those who produce and review the workforce of non-direct workers in each group,” he spoke of the need to evaluate sowing “by the degree of germination of the crops and not for the fulfillment of the plan of hectares “and asked” to diversify the agricultural productions in all the productive forms “.

Tapia Fonseca insisted on a “critical analysis” that “you have to pay more to those who produce and review the workforce of non-direct workers in each group”

For his part, Jorge Santana Hernández, general director of the agroindustrial sugar company Mario Muñoz, from the municipality of Los Arabos, in Matanzas, confessed that they have “a 6% delay” in repairing machinery, but said they hope to start production on December 20.

Last year’s harvest was a real catastrophe. With just 816,000 tons of sugar, 68% of the 1.2 million planned, the Island obtained the worst figure since 1908.

According to official figures, Cuba was only able to dispose of 416,000 tons of sugar for national consumption last year, since it has committed to the annual sale of 400,000 tons with China. The Island consumes annually between 600,000 and 700,000 tons of the product.

The worst data since the 1959 Revolution was that of the 2009-2010 harvest, when 1.1 million tons were reached, which forced the importation of sugar from France made with beetroot.

Of the 156 power plants that were in operation before 1959, only 56 remain. In that year, 5.6 million tons of sugar were produced, which increased in the 1970s and 1980s to seven and eight million.

However, the expert consulted by Reuters announced that the situation could improve by taking appropriate measures: “They will have to go further with reforms, attract foreign investment or divert money from other sectors such as tourism.”

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