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Havana April 17 APIC In Cuba historically prosperous and poor times were called the time of the fat cows and the time of the skinny cows respectively In this skinny cow period that has prolonged for a record 4 decades we must also refer in recent years to an even more discouraging expression the time of the skinny sugar caneAfter the disastrous last few years of sugar production hitting rock bottom with the zafra of 1995 which yielded only 3 million tons of raw sugar 96 degree base the sugar cane production has been losing ground to the point that this year a caballaria of land only produces 500-750 thousand pounds of sugar cane in a country where the soil is so fertile that potentially the yield could be 25 million pounds of sugar cane per caballariaIn the prosperous capitalist Cuban past the peasants when the sugar cane production fell below 750000 pounds per caballaria called this sugar cane caguazo Inexplicably 90 of the sugar cane that arrives to the mills today is pure caguazo and to make things worse it arrives late to the mills thereby reducing the yield and complicating the industrial process to bootThere are many reasons for the disastrous distribution of sugar cane to the mills but at the root of the problem is the innate economic inefficiency of the communist system the discouragement of the people the errors of centralist bureaucracy and the agricultural policies of the large state farms where there is no accountability or interest to do anythingThere ruin of the yields in sugar cane in Cuba which was the model country in this type of production is an inseparable part of the historical failure of communist agriculture which was squalid and unaffordable in the former Soviet Union and its European satellites and that has converted the fertile Cuban farms of yesteryear into poorly cultivated lands with low quality productsThe Cuban government this year hopes for a sugar
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