HAVANA, May 29th On Sunday morning, Cuban outlets reported the loss of some 30 tons of tobacco leaves as a result of the fire in a warehouse of the state-owned tobacco collection and processing company (EABT) in Pinar del Rio.
The fire also affected a nearby private warehouse storing over 4,000 longitudinal rods, in which the tobacco leaf are dried in the sun. This incident happened in El Vizcaino, a rural area located on the road leading to the municipality of San Juan and Martinez.
After the firefighters put out the fire, the workers of the State Company began cleaning work to start the reconstruction of the warehouse starting tomorrow.
The EABT Director Osvaldo Santana explained that both the state warehouse and the private warehouse have insurance that will cover the damage caused by the scourge.
Cuba’s largest tobacco-producing area is located in Pinar del Rio, a province where 16,921 hectares of tobacco were planted this year. About 760 hectares of that area are planted with “covered tobacco”, whose leaves serve as layers for the elaboration of the famous Havana cigars.
The tobacco industry employs up to 250,000 workers at the peak of the harvest and generates about US$500 in exports, according to data from the Spanish-Cuban company Habanos, which markets the country’s exclusive cigar brands internationally.
For the 2021-2022 season, Cuba reduced the planting area by about 10 percent due to a lack of fertilizers and other supplies caused by the U.S. blockade.