Cubans Love Their Coffee, They Used to Grow It Too…

more than enough for domestic consumption and they even helped other countries to produce

By Progreso Weekly

HAVANA TIMES – It is inevitable that it will go from the fish, which we recently found out there are none, to the cup of coffee, since everything indicates that there’s even less of it. What’s going on with the aromatic?

A reader writes suggesting that I look again at the Round Table (Cuba’s nightly TV program) where Manuel Sobrino, Minister of the Food Industry, appeared. And again I “played”, as they say. I also read the summary published by Cubadebate.

One sentence was the only thing I got clearly: “Coffee production, from now on, will depend on being able to import it, because national production will not be able to cover these months,” the minister said.

Causes, conditions, figures, data to explain the resounding statement, were not requested, as the topic deserves, and nothing was said by the participants. So I searched on my own.

It turns out that last year Cuba produced about 11,500 tons and our national consumption is around 30,000 tons. We are not even halfway there. But, according to official figures, of the 11,500 we exported 1,365.

How many cups of coffee are left for us? I understand: the government has to export because it must seek hard currency or pay commercial commitments. But…

That being said: Why did we get to this situation? What has happened over the years?

A friend reminds me that in the year 1960 the country produced some 60,000 tons of coffee.

So I look at what happens in the universe of coffee producers and I find.

You best sit for this. In the 1970s, Cuban experts taught the Vietnamese how to grow this grain and some of its varieties… Now, Vietnam, along with Brazil and Colombia, are the three major producers and marketers in the world.

Closeup of two workers on a coffee plantation in the central highlands of Vietnam sort and place beans in bags near Dalat.

Vietnam is a country that emerged from the war against French colonialism and almost without pause faced US aggression. Thousands of hectares of Vietnamese land were razed and defoliated by napalm and the so-called Agent Orange. (I stick to agriculture, but I do not forget the thousands of deaths caused by the imperial aggression).

And now: today Vietnam produces different types of coffee, the same Robusto and Arabic and the European Union (EU) represents 38% of the income from exports of the aromatic. There’s more: coffee brands that are sold in Florida, such as Hola or Bustélo—I don’t specify which of the two—identifies, among the origin of the beans, Vietnam.

How have they achieved such success not only in coffee production, but in the entire agricultural sector?

I leave the answer to you.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.

One thought on “Cubans Love Their Coffee, They Used to Grow It Too…

  • You are either a customer under capitalism, or you are an expense under socialism.

    Choose wisely.

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