HAVANA, January 6. The sugar harvest began on December 6 and to date only 11 of the 25 mills that were scheduled to grind have started, reported the official newspaper Granma.At the end of October, it emerged that 25 sugar mills would operate in the 2023-2024 harvest, but most were under repair at that time.
The director of IT and Communications of the AZCUBA Business Group, Dionnis Pérez Pérez, mentioned as causes of the delay “the technical deficiencies in the plants, detected late, due to not having the lubricants for the tests on the planned dates.”
The official also referred to the low availability of fuel, and the difficulties caused by inclement weather in recent days, which have delayed the cuts.
Without detailing the “other issues” that caused the inactivity of more than half of the mills that should have been grinding, Pérez said that the production of “this harvest will guarantee the consumption of the regulated family basket, as well as that of social consumption, joint ventures and other sectors of the economy”.
So far the center-backs Boris Luis Santa Coloma, from Mayabeque, have joined; Heriberto Duquesne and Quintín Banderas, from Villa Clara; July 14 and Ciudad Caracas, from Cienfuegos; Melanio Hernández, from Sancti Spíritus; Siboney, from Camagüey; Cristino Naranjo, from Holguín; Dos Ríos, from Santiago de Cuba; Enidio Díaz Machado, from Granma, and Argeo Martínez, from Guantánamo.
Pérez said that, for the next few days, the start of the power plants Antonio Sánchez, from Cienfuegos, and Majibacoa, from Las Tunas, is expected.
According to a report from the official agency Prensa Latina, of the 25 mills that will participate in the current campaign, 22 had to start grinding in December, two would join in January and the remaining one in February. The Cuban Government plans to produce more than 400,000 tons of sugar in this harvest.
At the end of November 2023, before starting the harvest, AZCUBA recognized that the planned sugar exports were not met and that the low result of the last campaign affected the consumption of the basic basket of Cubans. The state entity has introduced a “new business model” in the current harvest to aspire to self-financing.
The Cuban sugar industry does not respond to the Government’s attempts to improve it. At the end of October 2023, it emerged that Belarus and Russia would support AZCUBA in its “strategy to promote the sugar sector”, through the granting of credits and inputs for the Island’s industry.