Desde Dentro de Cuba.

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

Sept. 16, 1999.

TWO LAS TUNAS SUGAR MILLS WILL NOT TAKE PART IN 1999 HARVEST By Ramón Colás, Cuba Free Press.

LAS TUNAS - In the eastern Cuban province of Las Tunas two sugar mills, "Perú" of the municipality Jobabo and "Majibacoa" of the locality with the same name will not take part in this year's sugar harvest.

According to the Communist Party publication "Semenario," the Jobabo mill does not have enough cane available to justify its operation. The publication said only 25 million arrobas (625 million pounds, since one arroba equals 25 pounds) of cane were available and that would keep the mill busy just 53 days.

The data indicated that to justify the start-up investment, a sugar mill needs enough cane to keep it grinding at least 120 days, with the usual milling rate being 70,000 arrobas per day. In the 1998-99 season, this central handled only 29 million arrobas, which kept it going only 21 days, making its operations a total loss.

As for the Majibacoa mill, which was built by the government, it will be idle both because of a shortage of cane and the mill's run-down mechanical state. Its technical deficiencies would necessitate expensive repairs or even reconstruction before start up, making it one of the most problematic of the country's sugar industry.

The mills' idleness will impose serious economic hardship on their laborers and communities.

Ramón Colás, Cuba Free Press.


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