Havana, Sunday 24 de September de 2017 03:16 pm

Drought Affecting the Future Sugar Cane Harvest

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Drought Affecting the Future Sugar Cane HarvestSanta Clara, Cuba, Jul 13 (ACN) The drought affecting Cuba since 2015 is delaying the sowing time of sugar cane in Villa Clara province above all in areas located north of the central province because it impedes the irrigation of the soil destined to this crop.

The Director of AZCUBA provincial entity, Andres Duran Fundora told the press that the capacity of the reservoirs in the territory are low and are limiting the use of the water to agricultural work.

About 40 percent of the sugar cane plantations are located in the northern part of Villa Clara at the Jose Maria Perez (Camajuani), Abel Santamaria and Perucho Figueredo (Encrucijada) mills, he said.

He commented that experts are analyzing the damages in the areas and evaluating the real situation, later take action, and look for alternatives to guarantee the sowing of the sugar cane destined to the upcoming harvest.

Representative of AZCUBA in Villa Clara, Norbelio Machado explained that the lack of rain and the little availability of water provoked the incomplete sowing plan in the first semester.

By the end of June, 93 percent of the plan in the territory was completed and 903 hectares were left without planting, said the specialist.

Machado added that despite the current reality, they continue to sow in the province and during the first week of July they had already covered 494 hectares.

The major damages and difficulties were concentrated in the northern strip of the province and that is why they are working in the rest of the territory where recent rain was welcomed by the soil and facilitated the work.

Machado Rodriguez highlighted the importance of the new technology in the agricultural work with the use of five seeding machines with high productivity. These machines replace the work of some 120 people and maintain working hours of between 10 and 12 hours a day so they can sow some 10 hectares.

Another alternative applied to ease the damages of the drought is an increase of the plantations with a modality called sowing on a wide base.

The specialist said that with this technic over 10 thousand 800 hectares will be covered which should contribute to between 25 to 30 percent more of sugar cane.

He stressed that the increase of the plantation is vital to expand the industrial capacity of Villa Clara currently at 65 percent.
The factories of the territory can process enough raw material to reach up to 450 thousand tons of sugar in one harvest.

To achieve this, we need to increase the plantation each year with the amount of plants established in the norms of the cultivation, said the specialist.

 

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