Havana, Feb 20 (EFE).- The state group Azcuba acknowledged this Monday that the current sugar harvest campaign reports a deficit of 95,000 tons -of a total of 400,000 planned- due to “financial difficulties” and lack of personnel.
As reported by Ángel Luis Ríos, general director of Azcuba’s Productive Chain, another of the reasons why the island -which last year closed its worst campaign in a century- is below expectations are the fires in sugarcane fields and thefts of sugar.
Ríos also assured, in statements collected by the official newspaper Granma, that the sugar mills have reduced and aged personnel due to “the effect of migration.” In 2022, more than 313,000 Cubans -around 3% of its total population- immigrated to the US through its southern border with Mexico.
Different experts have warned of the serious effect that the great migratory exodus means for the island, especially of young and economically active people, added to a long-lived population.
Last Friday, the official press reported that at the end of 2022, 21.6% of Cubans were over 60 years of age.
In addition to the lack of personnel, Ríos said that the deficit is also linked to difficulties in accessing parts for the power stations and inflation.
“The production problems of a plant prevent workers from receiving decent wages and many leave,” he assured Granma, the official organ of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC, the only legal one).
The sugar industry was in other times the economic locomotive of Cuba, but it suffered a drastic drop in production starting in the 1990s with the crisis after the fall of the Soviet bloc.
In 2009-2010, production plummeted to a record 1.1 million tons.
Cuba had 156 factories operating in 1959, at the triumph of the revolution, which in that year produced 5.6 million tons of sugar.