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Cuban Coffee Production Grew 27 Percent in 2008
The minister noted that in spite of the effects of hurricane Ike in the easternmost province of Cuba, Guatanamo, the 2008-2009 harvest is expected to meet the goal of exceeding the previous production by a fifth.

Frometa said the production goals of exportable beans, which is mostly grown in eastern Cuba, have been already met in Granma and Holguin. Coffee is also cultivated in Villa Clara, Sancti Spiritus, Cienfuegos and Pinar del Río.

According to the official, steady growth is expected starting in 2009 to reach an average production of 32,000 tons in about eight years.

The increase would be the result of a restructuring of the coffee industry in the island with actions that include the renovation of coffee plantations and cultivation in new areas, and also a new financial strategy to encourage national production with the aim of replacing imports.

Frometa said the goal for this year is to meet the national demand of 5,200 tons of coffee. He noted that the saving generated from the substitution of imports will be invested in the sector to improve both production and the working conditions for the farmers that cultivate the beans.

(Juventud Rebelde)

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