Idle boasts don’t cut cane
HAVANA TIMES – Problems as diverse as shortage of raw material (raw cane), industrial accidents, the breakdown of machinery, lack of rigor and exigency, and the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in eastern Cuba cast doubt on the outcome of the current sugar harvest.
The assessment comes from a veteran journalist who specializes in the subject of sugar production, Juan Valera Pérez, reporting on a study done by industry technicians in the official Granma daily.
During the last sugar harvest, those experts identified the material and human difficulties that prevented a better performance by the industry. They presented a list of actions required to overcome those difficulties, but apparently those recommendations were not followed.
The resulting setbacks endanger an appreciable effort to rescue what used to be the nation’s principal industry. Varela Pérez says that those setbacks were caused by “the inefficiencies in the supply of raw material, breakdowns in the combines and other equipment, the belated delivery of some supplies, and organizational problems that, if they are not resolved at once, will make it impossible for every mill and sugar company to meet its goals.”
Varela Pérez also blames the persistence of mistakes, lack of punctuality and poor focusing similar to the flaws that were criticized last year by the experts.
“A deficit in sugar production is manifested, as the country produces barely 83 percent of what it should have had in bags and warehouses,” he writes. “Add to this the fact that the reduced number of mills with better grinding [facilities] don’t come up with the values that industrial production demands, values that might partly compensate for the sugar that was not produced.”
The article names the provinces and mills that fail to produce cane and/or are inefficient in the grinding and processing of cane. It ends by describing as “idle boasts” the promises made at the start of the 2012-13 harvest, which guaranteed that there would be a significant increase in production.