The Province of Havana Meets Only 42 Percent of Its Food Production Targets

A Ration store located on Valle Street, in Havana. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger 14ymedio, Havana, February 26, 2023 — The food production plan targets in Havana for January 2023 were met by just 42% of what was expected. In a meeting held this Friday, the provincial authorities discussed the implementation of 12 actions to remedy the crisis, although they did not encourage too many expectations for the recovery.

The official press had been showing signs of the economic debacle in the capital’s food sector for weeks. With the announcement that there was not enough rice, beans and oil for the rationed market, the Government once again invoked the wild card of the blockade [i.e. the US embargo] and the “involuntary delay of imports.”

In the economic balance sheet of the capital for the first month of 2023 there was no way to disguise the meager results. The province still has 877 acres of uncultivated land. One solution, the leaders calculated, could be to speed up the process of delivering land to producers, in addition to increasing the assortment in the markets and implementing mechanisms to reduce the high prices for the products of the ’basic basket’.

About twenty companies recorded losses last January, although, according to the Government, there were 15 fewer than at the end of 2022, because the majority met their “social objective” and operated despite limited prices.

Among the Havana institutions that exceeded the production targets is the Provincial Accommodation Company, with a compliance of 183%, followed by state restaurants with 177.8% and social circles with 122.5%.

To increase sales and reduce inflation, Reinaldo García Zapata, Governor of Havana, said that companies have to “insert themselves into other scenarios.” They must be “creative” to reactivate the economy, he said, without noting that many business units do not meet their production programs due to the lack of inputs, most of them imported at high costs.

At the meeting it was also reported that the staff of inspectors in Havana is at 68% coverage, while that for auditors reaches only 28%. Although the Government does not mention the causes of this deficit, it coincides with the flight of professionals in the midst of the largest exodus since the 1959 Revolution.

The authorities of the municipalities proposed that, to reverse the situation, priority be given to the training of young graduates of the Accounting and Finance career, to whom “appropriate attention must be given to stimulate their permanence.”

In addition, there were complaints against drivers and state entities that do not respect authorized passenger stops. In this regard, the Government promised to put back into service some buses that were deactivated due to breakages.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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