Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

05 de Abril del 2000

LACK OF WATER SABOTAGES POOR TOBACCO PLANTINGS AND WORSE HARVESTS. By Marcos Yanes, Cuba Free Press.

Fomento.- Water shortages not only cause political anxiety here; they also play dirty tricks on the dictator who shouts about the millions of cigars that will be manufactured for export.

After the weather cleared up in November, no water fell for more than 60 days until a downpour on Jan. 24. Since then, zero rain. Because of this the planting program was not fulfilled on more than 1,300 hectares, much of that involving the key municipalities of Cabaiguán and Taguapo.

The harvest which began in the second half of February has as of today reached about 1,512,500 hoop-poles of tobacco. That is only 70 percent of what was anticipated. Mainly that is because the plants have not developed normally. Some land was irrigated but not enough.

Many sources of water have dried up and sudden temperature changes that may damage tobacco have been recorded. The greatest non-fulfillment of expectations has been recorded in wrapper-leaf tobacco. In this province 600 hectares of wrapper-leaf tobacco were planted so as to help provide wrappers and cores for the expected increase of cigars.

Some reports say many farm workers reduce production by "accidentally" cutting leaves with knives, thus leaving them imperfect.

Marcos Yanes, Cuba Free Press.


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