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March Wednesday

Tobacco harvest kicks off in central Cuba


SANTA CLARA, Cuba, Feb 18 (ACN) With the replacement of seedbeds and crops affected by the heavy rains of tropical storm Eta last November, the province of Villa Clara concludes the sowing of tobacco (mainly in the sun) and begins its harvest, with plans to exceed the agreed 1,486 tons (t).

The municipalities where most producers are located have already started as they still sow in order to achieve a better output and make up for shortages imposed by COVID-19.
Alain Rodríguez León, delegate of Agriculture in the province, told the press that the figure exceeded by 5% the plan set for the territory which—together with the provinces of Pinar de Río and Sancti Spiritus—stands out for its tobacco-growing tradition, with high quality leaves for the production of cigars for the domestic and foreign markets.
He added that the fields are secured with irrigation and hoeing programs to avoid weeding and guarantee the extensive application of chemical and biological products to prevent attacks by pests and diseases.
Antonio Subit Pérez, director of the Base Enterprise Unit (UEB) La Estrella, remarked that the 125 hectares (ha) of protected plants (grown under a screen of cheesecloth fabric to obtain high quality layers) and uncovered fields are the object of all the phytosanitary treatment and climatic conditions that guarantee proper growing.
The entity, with sales of more than 10 million pesos during the first half of last year, intends to bring more profits to the country, so necessary in times when neither the blockade nor SARS-Cov-2 give truce to the national economy, commented Enrique Piedra Morales, a senior specialist.
More than 20 local growers devote almost 30 hectares of land to the diversification of various crops such as cucumber, beans, corn, sweet potato and yucca, among others, to revitalize the irrigation systems and take advantage of the quality of the soils through the technique of crop rotation, he explained.
This province relies on 24 UEBs engaged in tobacco production specialized in fields ranging from the making of cigars for export and domestic consumption to the marketing process.

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