Little Sugar Cane and Many ‘Adversities’ in the Holguin Harvest

The harvest should have started in November, but it started late in December. (DC)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 17 January 2022 — The López-Peña sugar mill, in Báguanos, Holguín, should have produced 13,000 tons of sugar this February, but it only has 30% of the planned plan to date, according to Reina Salermo Escalona, ​​director of provincial coordination of Azcuba in Holguín.

The official attributes the delays, which are widespread in the province due to the lack of rain and problems with the machinery, to “technical difficulties in the industrial process,” reports the provincial daily Now on Monday.

Two other plants in trouble are the Cristino-Naranjo, located in the municipality of the same name, and the Fernando de Dios, in Báguanos, which have just started grinding, just eight days ago the first and six the second. The “lack of inputs” and, once again, problems with the machinery, have meant that work could not be done in the last month of the year, raising fears of a new disaster for the harvest.

There is still another plant, the Urbano Noris, which alternates its jobs with the López-Peña. This is currently preparing the boilers to start their task next month.

The objective is to produce 92,000 tons of sugar in the province, with priority to 25,000, say the authorities, of the basic basket. For this campaign, 11,039 hectares of cane were planted last year, of which it is intended to grind 1,060,000 tons, 80% of the plan.

This 2022, 16,000 hectares must be planted in the province, of which 3,5000 must be between January and April, since the raw material is needed for 2023 and the rest for 2024.

According to the official newspaper, there are 87 “productive forms” that contribute their crops to the production of the product in Holguín and now they have the “additional motivation of the increase in the price of cane per ton.” However, considers the text, the work still needs to be perfected.

Although the price of cane has risen, as Now indicates, so has everything necessary to produce it, from supplies to fuel or electricity, among others, so not everything is motivation for the peasant who, furthermore, does not Nor can he benefit from a profit margin that he does not have left, since inflation has also made current expenses more expensive.

Even so, the newspaper believes that the technical force is well disposed, both to grind the cane and to combat “the adversities that are exacerbated by the cruel blockade imposed by the United States.” The blockade song could not be missing , which, however, appears in the last line of the article, as a ritual denunciation.

Last week it transpired that Cuba was once again having the worst harvest in a century. Ciego de Ávila barely executed 11% of the forecasts and a total of 200,000 tons of cane were left unharvested. The previous harvest barely 816,000 tons of sugar were obtained, 68% of the 1.2 million expected and this year, according to Jorge Luis Tapia Fonseca, deputy prime minister, said in November, worse data was expected . “The industry has more or less collapsed. The situation is worse this year than last and it will take time to turn it around.”

The Granma newspaper indicated this Saturday that the Industrial Technical Services Company (ZETI) is trying to adapt by working on some products that can help recover the important product. For this, chains are manufactured for cane and bagasse conveyors, turbines, vacuum pumps, fans, etc. are repaired. In addition to automating systems, updating software and building collection centers or repairing technological equipment.

And while the official press boasts of industrial preparation to alleviate the situation, the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba convened the volunteer work days until the next day 23, emphasizing that the efforts this time are directed at food production, cane planting and harvest sugar bowl


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