Thursday, October 13, 2011
Coffee Planting Grows Back in Cuba
Cuban farmers added to cooperatives have increased their coffee plantations and many have undertaken to collect it with their own forces, which would represent a substantial saving by reducing the number of people mobilized from other sectors of the economy and services.
After the sharp decline in the contributions of coffee in recent years for various reasons, farmers, officials and Cuban technicians in the industry are engaged in what they have set as the slight increase in production.
When the planting of coffee trees has been completed and its collection has even started, agriculture strategists say that the volume of grain to be delivered should be increased by 10% over the last collection.
That is, is expected to harvest 700 tons of coffee more than compared to last year, efforts in which private farmers will have a decisive role because they collect 64% of coffee in the country.
Today, as in order to increase food production progress on the implementation of the new law that encourages the delivery of land in usufruct, one can say that in Cuba there is a greater number of people with an interest in growing coffee.
This news is encouraging because labor force on coffee plantations located mainly in the mountains, where increased urban migration, was significantly reduced in recent years.
The State cannot continue to appeal to its coffers to compensate for deficits in national coffee production, since these allocations are already ranging between 40 and 50 million dollars annually.
Last year, for instance, Cuban coffee purchases in the international market amounted to 18 000 tons to ensure local consumption.
The State also allocated 190 million pesos in national currency to subsidize the sale of powder to get the nectar.
It is for this reason that stands out the common effort to reforest the coffee plantations with younger fields and lush bushes and take care of them in a more actively way.
Four thousand hectares of coffee were planted in Cuba last year and this amount reached 7 thousand this year, to increase such actions from 2012 to 2015, the year estimated when national demand can be met and grain may have exportable surpluses.
Efforts to increase the results of the coffee harvests are capped by very favorable official decisions.
These include doubling the payment to producers for their contributions and State delivery of fertilizers for the first time in several years.
Similarly, new shrub species are introduced to eradicate the homogeneity of coffee plantations, a circumstance in which they become more vulnerable to the devastation in the event of pests.
Cuban farmers are working to increase yields per hectare that are very low today, basically by the aging of the trees and the lack of stable work force.
Peasants are expected to work with full care and dedication to Cuba to recover its historical levels of coffee production.
By Alex Silva from Radio Havana Cuba