HAVANA, Cuba, Dec 8 (ACN) The AZCUBA business group announced that 27 sugar mills joined the 2016-2017 harvest that started last month, mainly due to the availability of cane in the fields.
Since the late years of the 1990s, Cuba had not had this many sugar mills working in November due to the lack of enough canes in the fields, according to Liobel Perez, an official with AZCUBA.
Perez announced that by the end of the year, another 18 factories will be working, with none more in January, for a grand total of 54, four more than last years, because they were reactivated after several years of inactivity. The harvest should last some 150 days.
He said they are forecasting a 12 percent growth in the sugar output for this harvest, due to the bigger amount of factories working, new harvesters and other equipment Cuba bought, and better efficiency in all processes.
The official said that 96 percent of all the sugar cutting will be with harvesters, the majority of them brand new, and the other 4 percent by men, in areas where machinery cannot enter.
Last harvest, drought and untimely rains had a negative impact on sugar production, when the industry could only fulfill 80 percent of the yearly plan.