Another revolutionary advance in Cuba: Cubans no longer interested in sugarcane

Sugar from the growing and harvest of sugarcane used to be Cuba’s most prolific and profitable export. Then came Fidel Castro’s revolution in 1959…

Via EFE in the Global Post:

Cubans getting farmland from gov’t show little interest in growing sugar cane

Havana, Jun 24 (EFE).- Growing sugar cane is arousing little interest among the Cubans who are taking advantage of the plan to turn over unused agricultural land to them for cultivation, official media reported Monday.

Of the total area turned over to private individuals to farm up through November 2012, just 3.6 percent ended up in the hands of people interested in growing sugar cane, and that trend is being maintained, Communist Party daily Granma said.

In recent months, just 40 requests for land on which to grow sugar cane have been received and only 9 tracts of 110 hectares (about 275 acres) each, equivalent to 6.4 percent of the total idle land handed out, have been distributed.

Difficulties in obtaining loans, the distance of those tracts from sugar mills and the lack of equipment and machinery to use in growing sugar cane are the main obstacles mitigating against the desire by potential farmers to get into the sugar production business.

Cuba has a total of 6.5 million hectares (16.25 million acres) of arable land, of which just 32 percent is under cultivation, according to Agriculture Ministry figures.

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