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Cuba is coffee dry: the country has become a net importer of the bean

Sandokan

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Cuba is coffee dry: the country has become a net importer of the bean
Cuba is coffee dry: the country has become a net importer of the bean — MercoPress

Cuban coffee production tumbled 90% in the last few years forcing the government of President Raul Castro to spend 50 million US dollars annually in importing the beans to ensure domestic consumption revealed the official weekly Trabajadores.
MercoPress
Thursday, June 10th 2010 - 06:52 UTC

According to the Ministry of Agriculture Cuba once produced 60.000 tons of coffee but that is now down to ‘less than 10%’ forcing the country to purchase overseas 19.000 tons at a cost of 50 million US dollars which are a significant drain of foreign exchange reserves, points out the weekly.

Cuba needs to produce at least 29.000 tons of clean beans to replace imports, one of Castro brothers’ regime agriculture policy priorities. Trabajadores blames drought, hurricanes and the lack of fertilizer, herbicides, other chemicals and proper tools to work the land.

The weekly also claims that “enemy hands” have introduced exotic coffee diseases with the purpose of dedicating land to more profitable crops. Apparently the worst year was 2005 when the government had to pay for farm labour and pick the bill for the coffee subsidy, a basic component of the monthly basket rations every Cuban is entitled to.

“This is the bitter side of the coffee collapse”, says Trabajadores. However “Cuba is not going to give up 250 years of coffee growing tradition and there is a development 2009/2015 plan that will revert the situation”.

The strategy includes a new prices system and a reorganization of areas to be planted and harvested.

Cuba, with abundant fertile soil, (once the world’s leading sugar exporter) spends over 1.5 billion US dollars annually in food purchases (including sugar) and the situation has become a national security issue because international prices are high and the Castro brothers’ regime is cash short.

Since taking office from brother Fidel in 2006, Raul has liberated thousands of hectares of government land to farmers to toil privately hoping for a strong supply of local vegetables, fruit and other basic produce. The goal has only been partially successful since provision of inputs and commercializing produce remains the hands of the government bureaucracy.
Another Castro brothers regime great success story. The import of coffee by the regime is equivalent to the import of sugar, an unthinkable thing to happen 51 years ago. The destruction of the island economy, is not cause by the embargo, is due to the Castro brothers dictatorship, corruption and mismanagement.
 

UtahBill

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Is coffee addictive? Can't this small island nation get by without coffee?
 

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Welcome to NAFTA.

The same thing happened with Haiti and rice.
 

UtahBill

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Welcome to NAFTA.

The same thing happened with Haiti and rice.
But rice is a staple in Haiti, coffee is a non-essential luxury with almost zero food value. Cubans can live without coffee.
 
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Is coffee addictive? Can't this small island nation get by without coffee?
well coffee is addicting... why do you thinks theres so many Starbucks lol but seriously coffee is one of the major imports in Cuba so it really does hurt them. :/
 

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well coffee is addicting... why do you thinks theres so many Starbucks lol but seriously coffee is one of the major imports in Cuba so it really does hurt them. :/
Cuba's economy would be hurt if they lose customers for what they EXPORT, losing a non-essential import should just improve their balance of trade.
But I understand, if Diet Dr. Pepper went off the market, I would have to just drink water...
 

Hoplite

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But rice is a staple in Haiti, coffee is a non-essential luxury with almost zero food value. Cubans can live without coffee.
It's still the principal of something that a country should be able to produce on it's own but due to market conditions created by NAFTA and similar agreements that have undercut the producers.
 

UtahBill

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It's still the principal of something that a country should be able to produce on it's own but due to market conditions created by NAFTA and similar agreements that have undercut the producers.
Don't think so, try drought, hurricanes, and expensive fertilizer all combining to make the home production of coffee very difficult...
 

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On 1956 the island exported 20,000 MT of coffee valued at over $20 million. In 1957 it produced 43,600 MT of coffee beans and exported only 11,200 tons due to the guerrilla war in the main coffee growing area. In 2004 the coffee production was of 13,440 MT and in 2009 only 6,000 MT. Coffee per capita in 1958 with a population of 6.4 million was 19.4 lb, in 2009 with a population of 11.4 million only 1.2 lb.
 

24107

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If Tony muntana was President they would never be dry.
 

Sandokan

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Before 1959 Cuba used to produce some of the finest Arabic Coffee in the world. Nowadays Cubans are allocated through the ration book only 4 ounces of coffee a month per person, and the coffee is mixed with peas to increase the yield, which in turn reduce the quality of the coffee. What an inept regime, it destroys everything it touch’s. The brothers’ rule are the root of the problem, they should be removed from power.
 

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As for coffee production, Castro promised in the 1960s that in few years Cuba would export hundreds of thousands of bags to everyone, but what took place was a steady decline of its production and for the last 40 years it has not been enough even to satisfy domestic consumption reason why the aromatic grain is mixed with kidney beans and other imported grains to supply it to the consumers, in small quantities established in a ration book dating from 1962, in order to control the supply of basic foodstuffs to the population.
 

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Castro said that not only would we have coffee for the domestic consumption needs, but also for exportation. "We're going to turn into a coffee power, besides being a sugar power," he said. He also announced that day that pigeon pea would be sown in the same row of coffee, approximately every three meters as well as a thousand acres of citrus, avocado, mango, mamey, sapote, henequen and flowers. Declarations to foreign and Cuban newspaper man, El Mundo newspaper, January 3, 1968.
 

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Cuban '09 coffee harvest was worst in history
Cuban '09 coffee harvest was worst in history - BusinessWeek

By WILL WEISSERT
The Associated Press September 29, 2010, 11:15AM ET

HAVANA
Adios, cafe con leche?
Cuba -- where super-strong shots of espresso are a way of life -- says it had its worst coffee harvest in history last year, with production plummeting to just 5,500 tons nationwide.

And a full-page article in the Communist Party newspaper Granma on Wednesday warned that authorities will no longer fill the shortfall with imports. It said the government cannot afford to spend a projected $40 million this year and $47 million next just to keep islanders in high-octane caffeine.

Cuba was the world's top coffee exporter in the 1940s, Granma reported, producing a bean "that was very coveted in discerning markets."

As recently as the harvest of 1961-1962, Cuba produced 60,000 tons.

The newspaper cited inefficiency and negligence as reasons for the drop in production, but did not go into detail.

Orlando Guevara, a coffee specialist at the Agricultural Ministry, told Granma that Cuba hopes to produce at least 6,700 tons of coffee in the coming harvest that begins in October and lasts about two months. He said Cuba hopes to one day get back to 1970s' level of 28,000 to 30,000 tons a year.
Cuba coffee beans production in 1958 reached 43,600 MT and was able to export 11,200 MT even with a guerrilla war going on in in the main coffee growing area. In 2010 the coffee production reached only 5,500 MT. The coffee production keep going down, with a huge 87.4% reduction compare to 1958.

The island is an excellent example of how a very successful nation in the western hemisphere was destroyed by Castroism in the 20th century. There are so few positive things to say about communist dictatorships like Cuba, that leftists everywhere have no choice but to point out flaws in other countries to keep some of their self-respect.
 

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“By 1970, Havana will be completely self-sufficient with the coffee we are going to plant this year in Havana Province, some 100 million plants… This coffee will be planted as a secondary crop, that is, it will be planted in the same areas as the fruit trees. That will happen in only two more years.” Castro Speech, January 6, 1967.
The Havana belt consisted of a plan that was intended to convert the environs around the capital into a gigantic coffee plantation with the planting of the coffee variety Caturra, which has the capacity to grow under full sun. Fidel did not take into consideration that for the growth of this variety, neither the climatic conditions associated with the height, nor the soils were adequate in Havana’s province. The resounding failure of the coffee plan caused a useless waste of economic resources and great administrative corruption. Forty-three years after that speech, the island lacks not only coffee but everything.
 
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