With 30% of the expected cane planted, another disastrous harvest is coming in Cuba

With 30% of the expected cane planted, another disastrous harvest is coming in Cuba

With 30% of the expected cane planted, another disastrous harvest is coming in Cuba

The sugar cane planting campaign in Cuba raises fears of the worst, once again, for the next harvest. In Sancti Spíritu, barely 30% of the harvest plan for the spring season – which runs from January to June – was fulfilled, said Aselio Sánchez Cadalso, Azcuba’s director of Coordination and Supervision.

in statements to the official pressthe official defended that work in the field was difficult due to the intense rains of recent months, mainly in March, when it is “decisive” to start planting.

Sánchez Cadalso acknowledges that they can take advantage of the soil moisture for seed germination, especially since 95% of the sugarcane areas in Sancti Spíritus depend on rain, since they do not have irrigation systems. However, he insisted that due to the same rainfall in June, the work could not progress either.

He acknowledged that there are delays in “almost all sugarcane care tasks,” which are also obstructed by the lack of agricultural inputs due to the “difficult economic situation Cuba is facing,” which has made it difficult to import fertilizers and herbicides. This has forced producers to seek alternative agroecological techniques, the official said.

The Sancti Spíritus sugarcane park covers more than 50,000 hectares, including recovered areas that were previously covered by marabou. The Azcuba director assured that in these areas today the varieties of Cuba 86/12, CP 52/43 and Barbado 80/250 are planted, genetically improved to have high sugar yield, adaptation to the climate and early maturity.

There are delays in “almost all the sugarcane care tasks,” which are also obstructed by the lack of agricultural inputs due to the “difficult economic situation Cuba is facing.”

On the other hand, the production process is also being disastrous in every way. If in March it was reported that the Majibacoa sugar mill, the main one in Cuba located in Las Tunas, had milled 56% of the planned cane for this harvest, these days the results of Artemisa have come to light. Pablo Valdés Amador, director of Information Technology, Communications and the Analysis Room of the Agroindustrial Sugar Company November 30, detailed last Sunday the battered results of the 121 days of contention: 58.4% of the planned raw material was ground and produced only 44.9% of the planned sugar, equivalent to 8,306 tons.

According to a note from the provincial newspaper The Artemiseño, The sugar mill started milling 30 days late, which results in a lower yield and low utilization of the factories. Valdés Amador listed the rosary of problems they faced this year, including harvest difficulties and delays in the transportation of raw materials to the plant due to lack of fuel.

Wilfredo Moreno, Azcuba’s harvest director, opined that the company must find a way to capture income to meet payment obligations with producers, as this also delays harvests. For him, between July and August “we cannot waste time on equipment maintenance and repair actions”, prior to the start of the 2023-2024 contest.

Although Azcuba has not yet provided the final production data for the 2022-2023 harvest, last May the Government warned that production had barely reached to 350,000 tonswell below the 400,000 required for domestic consumption.

Two months earlier, Ángel Luis Ríos Riquenes, an engineer for the state sugar company, said that some mills should finish the harvest in April and others in May, but warned that there was a risk that weather conditions would affect the schedule again.

The 2022-2023 harvest started at the end of last November with a poor goal of 455,198 tons after the meager results of the previous agricultural year, when production closed at its lowest level in the last century and only 68% of the 1 .2 million tons forecast.

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