Reports from Cuba: Ciego de Avila will produce 1.2 million fewer gallons of milk than planned

14yMedio reports from Havana via Translating Cuba:

Cuba: Ciego de Avila Will Produce 1.2 Million Gallons Less Milk Than Planned This Year

The authorities say that it is difficult to control the nearly 7,000 ranchers in the province.

The authorities of Ciego de Ávila pointed out on Monday that the annual milk production in the province had a deficit of 1 million gallons, according to calculations made in July. Although the plan is to produce 5.8 million before the end of the year, the leaders predict that by then there will be a shortfall of 1.2 million – almost a million less than there was in 2022 – and they have begun to look for culprits: the producers who falsify their records and the inspectors who consent to the situation.

According to the local newspaper Invasor, officials suspect that there is cheating not only in the declaration of the producers – about 7,000 throughout the province – but also in the livestock control processes. “The counts carried out recently reveal considerable shortages of cattle, so a logical concern of the authorities of the territory revolves around who should count the cattle and how it should be done,” the newspaper says.

During this new campaign, the region will implement a “control plan” that includes other associations, such as the veterinarians, since the Livestock Control Center “lacks the necessary infrastructure that this task demands.” The authorities seek to create working groups that act with “speed and quality” and hire producers with “rigor” “to look at the rancher’s livestock, with the control and requirements of the political authorities.”

The governor of Ciego de Ávila, Alfre Menéndez, expressed an even more explicit suspicion about the situation, saying that, after carrying out more rigorous controls, “it is very likely that the new measures will report more milk in the future than is being collected now.”

The outlook for the winter agricultural campaign doesn’t seem hopeful either. Officials asked that the same thing not happen this year as in the previous one, when the shipment of yuca seeds to the province was spoiled.

However, some municipalities already have a serious deficit. This is the case of Morón, which has not managed to complete any of the fruit, meat, vegetable or grain productions of the plan for the first planting of the year.

According to the authorities, Ciego de Ávila promised to plant, throughout the year, 12,355 acres of yuca, but four months after the end of the year and six months after the completion of the winter planting, fulfilling that plan demands a “growth of more than 4,942 acres in the immediate future.”

The missing lands will be “recovered” from the lands that were delivered to 99 state agencies and micro, small and medium-sized businesses, 44 of them in recent months, which, in the opinion of the authorities, are being underutilized. We are going to “evaluate the use they make of them, but the prevailing perception is that the results are far from the potentialities,” they warned, although they did not offer details about the process.

Without a clear plan, many of these lands were delivered without calculating the real possibilities of profits that companies could make for the province. Nor were the “limitations” or the “scarce and slow financial remuneration of some entrepreneurs” taken into account, the leaders now say.

But, more than the production, the concerns of Avileño officials fall on the fact that producers and entrepreneurs appropriate what belongs, they say, to the State. “How are we going to get them to contribute and not be enriched under the facade and the consent of the Board of Directors (of the province)?” was the question that closed the meeting, during which no one referred, however, to the multiple complaints of ranchers about the lack of inputs to achieve a stable production.

Translated by Regina Anavy

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