In one of the worst sugar harvests in history, Cuba produces only half of what was expected

cuban sugar

With only 52% of the 911 thousand tons of sugar planned, Cuba closed the last sugar harvest corresponding to the year 2021-2022, Azcuba’s director of Information Technology and Communications, Dionis Pérez, informed Granma newspaper.

The sugar company official acknowledged that the 2021-2022 harvest did not start well and its development and behavior were not favorable, so that only 52% of the sugar of the planned production plan was produced.

Official forecasts for this harvest predicted a production of some 911,000 tons from the activity of some thirty factories, but total production barely exceeded 470,000 tons.

The 5.6 million tons of sugar harvested in 1959 at the triumph of the Revolution, or the 7 and even 8 million tons in the best campaigns (1970 and 1989), have been reduced to little more than one million projected for the current harvest, which was also not reached.

According to information provided by Dionis Pérez, of the 35 mills that milled cane, only Melanio Hernández, in Sancti Spíritus, 14 de Julio, in Cienfuegos, and Boris Luis Santa Coloma, in Mayabeque, fulfilled their production plan.

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The official said that there were also problems with the supply of oxygen, due to breakdowns in the production plant, which caused a three-month delay in the repair and overhaul of the sugar mills.

Azcuba’s Director of Information Technology and Communications blamed U.S. sanctions for the low sugar production in the country. He explained that, due to the sanctions, resources could not be acquired for the repair and maintenance of machinery, transportation and the sugar industry.

The low agricultural yield of the crops was another of the problems faced by the last Cuban sugar harvest.

In the last harvest, only 37% of the fertilizers and herbicides needed were available, and 42% of the harvested fields had a yield of less than 30 tons per hectare.

Dionis Pérez said that in the recently concluded harvest, which ended on May 20, the Cuban mills only milled 66% of the expected cane.

Of the 156 mills that operated in Cuba before 1959, 56 remain, and only 38 of them milled in the 2020-2021 harvest. This year, 35 factories participated in the milling.

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