LatinNews Daily - 26 May 2022

In brief: Cuba's sugar harvest down

*Cuba’s state mouthpiece Granma has reported that Cuba’s 2021-2022 sugar harvest reached just 52% of the goal for the season. Dionis Pérez Pérez, communications director for Azcuba, the state-run sugar company, told Granma that the shortfall owed in part to a lack of inputs, including oxygen for sugar production as well as a “financial factor”, exacerbated by the intensification of US sanctions. Pérez Pérez said only 37% of the necessary herbicides and pesticides were available for use this season. He also noted problems related to “administration, labour and technological discipline”. In December 2021 the Cuban government approved a set of 93 immediate measures to save the sugar industry, its derivatives and energy generation. In an interview within a report by Italy-headquartered news agency Inter Press Service (IPS), published on 16 March, Noel Casañas, the Azcuba vice-president, said that these measures include new cultural practices for growing the crop. According to the same IPS report, last year’s crop of 800,000 tonnes (t) was the worst since 1908, just 10% of a high of 8m t in 1989. It notes that the government’s economic plan for 2022 earmarks 500,000 t of sugar this year for domestic consumption and plans to export 411,000 t.

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