Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

-DATE-
19891221
-YEAR-
1989
-DOCUMENT_TYPE-
-AUTHOR-
-HEADLINE-
Castro, PCC Discuss Sugarcane Harvest
-PLACE-
CARIBBEAN / Cuba
-SOURCE-
Havana Cubavision Network
-REPORT_NBR-
FBIS-LAT-90-006
-REPORT_DATE-
19900109
-HEADER-
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000000607
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     WA0501092790
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-006          Report Date:    09 Jan 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     1
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       8
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       21 Dec 89
Report Volume:       Tuesday Vol VI No 006

Dissemination:  

City/Source of Document:   Havana Cubavision Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro, PCC Discuss Sugarcane Harvest

Source Line:   WA0501092790 Havana Cubavision Network in Spanish 0200 GMT 21
Dec 89

Subslug:   [Third in a series of special programs on meetings between President
Fidel Castro and Communist Party of Cuba, PCC, leaders at Havana's
Palace of the Revolution on 11, 12, and 13 December--recorded]

-TEXT-
FULL TEXT OF ARTICLE:
1.  [Third in a series of special programs on meetings between President Fidel
Castro and Communist Party of Cuba, PCC, leaders at Havana's Palace of the
Revolution on 11, 12, and 13 December--recorded]

2.  [Text] [Announcer] The recent meeting of the party leaders, presided over
by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, dedicated many hours to the analysis of the
sugarcane harvest. We then offer part of the discussion of this subject which
is a top priority for the integral development of the country.

3.  [Castro] The comrade from Granma Province should start.

4.  [Roberto Damian Alfonso, first secretary of the PCC in Granma Province]
First I should I talk about the sugarcane harvest, or in general.

5.  [Castro] Whatever you would like.

6.  [Alfonso] Then on the harvest, Commander and other comrades. [Castro] I am
going to ask you some questions, perhaps that will help you. How much sugar was
produced last year?

7.  [Alfonso] Some 550,000.

8.  [Castro] Then what are you doing, what is the situation, how many mills do
you have, when did you start, and what are you doing?

9.  [Alfonso] We started in 6 sugar mills that are still operating. Three
started in December, and we have two left for January. We planned the following
task after the recent meeting with you: to carry out the harvest as we have
always wanted to but have not been able to. That is the essential. To this end,
we are developing a meeting in each provincial sugar mill with all the party
militants to discuss all the problems from the previous harvest.  There is one
province that is considered among the best for milling, but one of the worst in
efficiency. We focused the work this way. Today we can say, without going into
a lot of statistics, that as of now we are overfulfilling the plan for milled
sugar, the recovered sugar, the yield with 0.72 more than last year. This is up
to now. The basic problem we have now in the harvest is the shortage of labor
Saturday and Sunday which is fluctuating 75 percent. This was one of the things
we most often discussed with the cutters, the need to cut sugarcane Saturday
and Sunday. This is a problem we have. The quantity of broken down
transportation equipment is already known. We are always kept informed by [word
indistinct] of the executive committee of the Council of Ministers about the
situation with the tires. What concerns us is the two January sugar
mills--which happen to be the two biggest, Ernesto Figeredo and Grito de Yara,
both starting in January-- and up to now there are now no replacements for
tires.  This is what can be said on the harvest up to now.

10.  [Castro] How was the sowing?

11.  [Alfonso] The sowing in the cold season?

12.  [Castro] Yes.

13.  [Alfonso] Some 35, 40 cabellerias. We are still missing the areas where it
is raining, which in Cauto. [words indistinct] We will accomplish the plan by
overfulfilling in another municipality. It's possible another municipality will
fulfill the plan. The cold season plan will be fulfilled.

14.  [Castro] Herrera, what about the tires for the mills that are having
problems?

15.  [Minister of Sugar Industry Juan Herrera Machado] We are finishing from
December. The two mills in Granma are for January, [word indistinct] and Grito
de Yara. We think that beginning 18-20 December we can turn over some of these
tires. We are trying to see if we can deliver in December the tires for the
mills which start in the first 10 days of January, otherwise it is possible
they will be behind. But we still have problems with some the tires for the
first ten, above all with transportation. We have assured December. In December
we are missing 1,800 tires for transportation and the first 10 days of January. 
[as heard] We still cannot deliver tires for Granma, Commander.

16.  [Castro] What is the outlook for solving....?

17.  [Herrera, interrupting] The outlook for Granma can be solved. But they
will be very bunched up. All the mills are having problems. The tires must
arrive 60, 70 days in advance so that people can move equipment, etc. It is
arriving very bunched up in every mill, but it can be guaranteed.``

18.  [Lazaro Vazquez Garcia, first secretary of the PCC in Camaguey Province]
In view of the characteristics of this meeting, I must say that never in the
history of the Camaguey Province have we been carrying out such large and
important programs, as we are doing now. In many cases I would say racing the
clock. Moreover, due to the importance of these programs, more programs will
also be created, which will harmonize a very integral development in accordance
with the province's potential. As far as the harvest is concerned, we should
say that everything in Camaguey has been difficult, complicated, but this is a
challenge for the province because it means repeating 1 million tons of sugar
with 57 million less arrobas of sugarcane. We are aware of where the virtues
lie, where the difficulties are. We have had good results in agriculture, which
was very inadequate in the province, but in this crop year we purified 29,000
caballerias manually, 28,000 caballerias with herbicide. We introduced new
technology with the herbicide that saved substantially in the amount of
herbicide used. We need a higher yield from the point of view of industry where
we have the most difficulty. I believe the province most inadequate from the
point of view of industry is Camaguey. We have worked and centered all our
efforts in resolving this problem. We have exchanged practically all our
centers. The cadres in our province have exchanged with Las Villas Province, in
which we perceive great industrial efficiency, great discipline, and this is
beginning to show results. We must [changes thought] first we are going to cut
84 percent of the area, and we must produce a million tons of sugar. It is also
certain that the Camaguey's industry has deteriorated. In 9 years we have had
to set up 30 boilers, between German, Cuban, and mixed German-Cuban 16
turbogenerators and 8 tandems [as heard]. We are concluding the modernization
of the sugar industry of the province. We are working and investing about 22
million pesos each year in an industry, including, as is logical, housing.

19.  [Castro] Including what?

20.  [Vazquez] Housing.

21.  [Castro] Included in the 22 million....

22.  [Vazquez, interrupting] That is to say that the agricultural stabilization
we have achieved, was achieved two ways: Mechanization, which this year reached
74 percent, 6 percent more than last year, and because we believed, [corrects
himself] we grew by 3,300 agricultural workers stabilized with housing in this
locale. I believe that in Camaguey there is no other way to continue growth in
sugar than industrial efficiency, continuing to introduce technology,
agricultural technology such as the case in drainage per parcel. We have had
more than 565 caballerias, 960 of siphoned irrigation and continue working to
the maximum with introducing...

23.  [Castro, interrupting] What is your opinion, Lazaro, which interests us a
great deal. We place great hope on this. We are investing abundant resources.
What do you think of drainage per parcel?

24.  [Vazquez] Let me give Brazil as an example. Brazil has almost 2,800
caballerias of sugarcane, including in many cases on good land. I believe that
drainage per parcel makes it possible for Brazil to save between 800 and 900
caballerias. It can be done for sugarcane, we can save for sugarcane, I think
it can be done for sugarcane. I think it has been shown in Brazil that what is
being done there, the way they are working there, integrally, in all aspects
related with mechanization, makes it possible. So the country is going to have
great savings, a great growth of land in the same space. Brazil itself has 900
caballerias of irrigation. Brazil guarantees irrigation for all its areas. 
Drainage per parcel seems to be a very innovative technology, people have
mastered it, and above all the people in this brigade are very enthusiastic. I
would say that in Brazil this brigade works 12 hours a day, and on Sunday until
12. All the conditions have been created.  The province has 12 brigades, 11 you
assigned--or which you assigned to the minister and he assigned to us--and 1
brigade we set up in Brazil.

25.  [Castro] You do not doubt that it is worth the effort....

26.  [Vazquez] It is worth the trouble and I also think it is inexpensive. It
is well invested, it is not complicated, it can be learned easily, leveling
operators convert rapidly to this specialty. I have no doubts. I say this not
because it is something new, but because I have visited many fields and I see
the sugarcane grow. I say this, Commander, about the purification effort
because if we don't purify 28,000 caballerias of sugarcane in the province,
today we would have 200 millions less arrobas of sugarcane. The province has
purified more than 95 percent for the first time in its history. The sugarcane
is in very good condition except in the northern section that was very
affected, but in spite of this, sugar production is going to grow, even in
Brazil. We are milling in 6 sugar mills.  Today the Cespedes sugar mill should
start. Thirteen were ahead of schedule, 3 started on schedule, Cespedes was a
little delayed but the rest of the mills have everything guaranteed to begin
efficiently. So I see a basic focused effort and the party work, the union
work, have followed this track. Since the sugar mill workers are very young,
and the operators are very young, aktivs and plenaries were set up in each
municipality, presided over by the UJC [Union of Young Communists] of the
province and they are working hard on these problems which we have. If we
continue to exchange with La Villa, Camaguey can be a great power in sugar
production with the area we have and the agricultural technology we have
learned. We have exchanged because Camaguey has many positive things, such as
the sugarcane straw we do not burn any longer. Camaguey used to burn 70 percent
of the area. Sugarcane is not being burned now. Whatever comes out, comes out.
Sugarcane burning isn't planned anymore. In relation to the harvest, the
siphoned irrigation covers 75 percent of the caballerias, not only in Brazil
but also in Haiti and other sugar mills.

27.  [Castro] What is the yield?

28.  [Vazquez] The first cut we did an average of 220,000 arrobas. In the
second cut, the average was less, around 150,000, 160,000 arrobas. In the
beginning of the year the province was very affected in May, because it did not
rain. In July there was very little rain, and in October, which is a decisive
month, it did not rain or it did not rain as much as was needed. In spite of
this, the province reached 45,000 arrobas, [corrects himself] more than 55,000
arrobas, which we believe is above this. Center by center we have seen the
sugarcane, and we can say that the province has a reserve.

29.  [Castro] Have you mentioned derivatives? There are note any derivatives in
the province?

30.  [Vazquez] We are weak in derivatives, because we are weak in the balance
of energy in the mills. We have a lot of energy problems, but the minister has
located and we have microlocated the furfural [sugarcane derivative] plant in
[word indistinct] which is beginning to be constructed, and the [word
indistinct] in the Agramonte mill, the glusose is working in Argentina, the
sacharina starting in [word indistinct] and we already have in the plant in
Siboney, practically the hydrolized bagasse, which will also be gathered for
animal feed. If one province needs the rapid development of these derivatives
from Camaguey--because we depend on the grass for the cattle [as heard].

31.  [Tomas Cardenas Garcia, first secretary of the PCC in Villa Clara
Province] After our meeting with you, we discussed, reviewed all this--we
planned to produce more than the figure you presented, 45,000 tons more.  This
requires very serious, efficient work, work also that must begin with a review
of our work, our own experiences, our own deficiencies, to achieve this and to
achieve a yield of 1241. Last year it was 1222.

32.  [Castro] It has not rained. The industry has no problems of repair,
investment, transportation, equipment?

33.  [Cardenas] As I said, it has not rained enough, and early December, when a
group of mills was going to start up, there was a hurricane and we could not
start 10 mills.  Therefore, we have reprogrammed the harvest beginning with
this, and this program will allow us to finish 18 mills in April; in the first
10 days of May, 7 mills; and 3 mills by 15 May. The mills we finish last need
all the effort so that this program is fulfilled.

34.  [Castro] Those three are not in the north?

35.  [Cardenas] The Hector Rodriguez is pretty low but is a good mill, it is
almost entirely mechanized, mills well, [word indistinct].

36.  [Castro] Do not let the rain catch you in in that low part.

37.  [Cardenas] With the rest we have no problem. In reality, springtime starts
in the province between 10 and 15 May, almost always after 15 May. The sowing
plan for the cold season, oh, excuse me, this harvest we planned not just to do
it but to work efficiently in sugarcane agriculture and also the tasks have
been programmed so the next harvest will be a large one also, not to the
detriment of other harvests. We will work to mill no less than 800 million in
the next harvest. The sowing in the cold season, out of 975 caballerias we have
sown up to now 810. This area that was lacking is principally in the north.
With this water it is not possible, 1OO caballerias will be left, so in the
first months of the year they will be incorporated, with irrigation, and will
be sown from January to April to be able to count on this sugarcane.  This year
has been, in spite of all the difficulties and the drought, the year in which
the most sugarcane in the last 7 years has been sown: 2,975 caballerias up to
now. In the drainage per parcel, we have done 156 caballerias.  We were going
to do a little more now at the end of the year; the water in the coast
interrupted us and left us as we are. With this and with what we did before
with the semi-engineered drainage, we attained about 1,428 caballerias.

38.  [Luis Alvarez de la Nuez, first secretary of the PCC in Matanzas Province]
Since we finished the last harvest, in spite of the problems you know that
affected the estimates. We also had serious problems with agroindustrial
efficiency. We did an indepth analysis in each [word indistinct]. Also, at the
provincial level, beginning with the bases--the brigades and the CPA
[Agricultural-Livestock Cooperative]--we found what problems were affecting
efficiency and we took measures not only for the harvest but for the industry
itself. For example, for sugarcane, we cleared 70,700 caballerias, 29,000
manually, the rest with herbicide or mechanically. We also worked on repairs
and investments and whatever affected harvest activity. On investments, we
worked especially hard on energy problems this year and also on some types of
manufacturing. We are setting up 9 boilers, 4 turbos, and a series of equipment
for crystalization, milling, boilers, etc. which will improve the situation
particularly in mills with the most problems: Espana, 6 de Augosto, Puerto
Rico, Australia which also had problems last year. And, in addition, there was
a long discussion in a meeting with you with all the collectives in [Cadacay]
to improve all the work and efficiency in the harvest, above all to work in two
directions: One, to reduce the burnings that most affected us last year.
Twenty-four percent of the sugarcane was cut burnt.

39.  [Castro] How much?

40.  [Alvarez] Twenty-four percent. This was not planned.  We did not plan this
year, and we are trying to reduce it by 13 percent. The other issue is the
sugarcane that is delayed. Seventeen percent of the sugarcane is delayed.  We
are working on measures to reduce this--the time between when it is cut and
pulled down--and to reduce the losses in harvest. The last time we met with all
the mechanized operators--because 83 percent of the sugarcane cut in the
province is done mechanically...

41.  [Castro, interrupting] How much?

42.  [Alvarez] Some 83 percent. It was planned and agreed to reduce by 1
percent, based on the plan, our losses during harvest. This means about 7
million arrobas of sugarcane, approximately, and around 8,000 tons of sugar if
we achieve this objective. The same was achieved in industry. In addition, we
took advantage of a video made by the comrades of the national MINAZ [Ministry
of Sugar Industry] on agroindustrial problems. We passed it on to all the
collectives, the part that corresponds to each one. Thus, in this aspect we are
concentrating our greatest effort from the point of view of this sugarcane
harvest. We began the harvest in two sugar mills, in Juan Avila and in Rene
Fraga. First, because of the hurricane that did not actually come but affected
us by its rains, and then because of this latest rain that fell in
December--154 millimeters throughout the province, in some places it was
more--we had to stop the cutting in those two mills. The others we planned to
start up, we cannot start up for 48 hours, 72 hours. We preferred to start up
the harvest and to make up this time later, under the best conditions, and not
to make any mistakes that would affect the harvest.

43.  [Victorino Lemus Rivero, first secretary of the PCC in Havana Province]
This moral commitment for fulfilling the sugar production plan, we discussed in
each center, at the level every worker in the sugarcane cutter brigades, and we
are working and we are convinced as to how to fulfill this commitment. An
important aspect we have been working on all this year and especially since
1986, when a plenary provincial committee plenum analyzed everything related to
the province's sugarcane program, is that at that stage we cut only 9 percent
of green sugarcane, the rest was burned sugarcane. Since then we set up a
program to arrive at 22, then 37; the last harvest was 51, and we aim for this
harvest to cut 62 percent of green sugarcane. Thus, we have raised this enough
so that in the coming years we can get close to to 90 percent of green
sugarcane. In order to increase cutting green sugarcane in our province in that
stage, we mobilized 21 brigades of sugarcane cutters. In this harvest, with our
personnel, we mobilized 43 brigades of sugarcane cutters, including the UJC
brigades cutting in the Sandino sugar mill. In Havana City we mobilized 28
brigades.  The sowing plan for this year is for 1,399 caballerias. We fulfilled
the spring sowing. We still have 89 caballerias to do. We will fulfill this and
we will work to overfulfill the sugarcane sowing plan by 20 caballerias. This
year we are also of the opinion--we have also analyed it in the centers--that
this was the year when the greatest effort was expended on purifying sugarcane.
Nevertheless, the final touch was not given to the problem with the labor force
in Havana. Nevertheless, this year we purified more than 95 percent of the
sugarcane in this stage.

44.  [Jorge Valdes Rodriguez, first secretary of the PCC in Sancti Spiritus] In
the harvest, we are thinking--because of the small problems we had in the
beginning with the hurrisugarcane which was not much but did affect us
somewhat, particularly in the south and also in the north--because of the
weather, the cold front that we had when the hurrisugarcane went throughout the
country. We do not think, in general, there were any problems. Well, there is a
lack of supplies, but we really have solved the problem with a supply of tires
and spare parts. We started the harvest in a satisfactory manner.

45.  [Juan Lazo Esteban, first secretary of the PCC in Santiago de Cuba] At
present there is a good outlook. The yields are good. For a several days the
America Libre mill had a yield of almost 12, the Dos Rios had 88--that was one
of the better ones. We have almost 1.9 above last year's yield. This is good,
of course. We are working toward this, because in my opinion we are going to
have less sugarcane than we planned, because there are some areas where the
drought was a big factor. In October, it practically did not rain at all.
Nineteen percent of the [word indistinct] in November there was very little. We
believe that to reach our objective, we must start with organizing the harvest.
We are working in this direction.  This discussion is also on the level of
central [word indistinct], what had to be done and who had to do it--that is,
who cultivates, who purifies, who sows--to deal with the volume of areas we are
covering in the harvest, which is almost 87 percent, to try to organize the
hours to fulfill the sugarcane, in order to guarantee the next harvest. This is
what we are doing in the harvest.  Now we had to bring in a few sugarcane
cutters, which I think is good because it has been an example of the need for
quality. Thus the comrades who used to cut 500 arrobas messily now know they
have to do a good job. In the three mills that have started up we see great
progress.

46.  [Francisco Garcia Ferrer, first secretary of the PCC in Holguin Province]
So you know that in the sowing in the cold season, in spite of the drought,
1,500 caballerias were sown.

47.  [Castro] Did you get any rain?

48.  [Garcia] There were places where it rained. We needed it, because we had
to recover 400 caballerias that were lost in the spring.

49.  [Castro] We have to pay special attention to the sugarcane in Holguin,
where we will cut 86. A special attention to cultivate the sugarcane, to
fertilize, and so on, setting the conditions for the following year. Although
drought recurs in this area and will recur again, we have some ideas as to what
we will do in Las Tunas and Holguin with regard to water. Of course, we will
work at today's pace, not as in other times. We have built a dam in Las Tunas
and it did not hold water this spring. How many cubic meters are there?

50.  [Unidentified speaker] Seven million.

51.  [Castro] How many?

52.  [Unidentified speaker] Seven.

53.  [Castro] Seven million? That is all it accumulated in springtime.

54.  [Unidentified speaker] That is all.

55.  [Castro] Well, we have some ideas. We are not going to stand still in the
face of all these calamities and we have ambitious, serious ideas. We are
doing, working on all of this. We would not have thought of these things 20
years ago. We are thinking of taking water from the Mayari River to Holguin and
then thinking of taking it to Las Tunas, thinking of taking water from that
river-- what is the name, the other one--and then taking the water from San
Miguel. And we are thinking of taking the Desagua River to Las Tunas, and we
are calculating how to do it--what tunnels we have to build--but we will work
hard on this. We must not be resigned to the tragedy in these two provinces. We
will take the mountain rivers there, and quickly. It will not take 16, 25
years. And the other day we reinforced the Mayari River and the [Melor] dam. On
Monday [corrects himself] on Wednesday we will have a meeting and invite people
from MINFAR [Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces] who make tunnels, to
discuss the construction of those tunnels, what equipment is needed, and when
we can start to use the water from [Melor] coming out by Biran [text missing]
from this river, and then we will have water for the Cauto rice fields. And we
will have water. This will not be very far off. We are going to accelerate this
Mayari River. And on Wednesday, we are going to discuss and plan with our
comrades who are specialized in making tunnels, so that they tell us how much
equipment, approximately, is needed to work in how many directions to supply
water from the Mayari over there and to supply water from the other river, San
Miguel, and (Sagua). We don't have a place to use that water over there. There
is no agriculture there. We are going to put it in tunnels, and there it goes.
The countryside there is undulating, mountainous. Yes, something can always be
solved, which is logical. But we have to find a historical, strategic solution
to all the water in Biran and Nipe. We have to work at top speed in using this
water which we have brought here and there, in 2 years if possible, 3 at the
most. Nine hundred caballerias that can be irrigated with this water, that
still does not include the Mayari.

56.  [Garcia] No, it does not include it. That is for Nipe and Sabanilla.

57.  [Castro] How many drainage-per-parcel brigades do you have? [Garcia] Now
we have eight brigades.

58.  [Castro] What are the results of the drainage per parcel?

59.  [Garcia] I have it here, Commander. In general, 412 caballerias have been
completed. In the spring, the yield was 154,000 arrobas per caballeria. In the
autumn there were 103,000. In the cold season of 1987, 115 000. In the spring
of 1988, 114,000.

60.  [Castro] In all these cases were [word indistinct] arroba.  [Garcia] Yes,
it was used?

61.  [Garcia] Siphon. This year out of 284 caballerias in the plan, 111 have
been completed, and in the 2 centers we expect to fulfill the plan, not
counting Maceo, which was affected by the lack of rain, and the drainage per
parcel fell behind. But in general, 30 caballerias of the 284 caballerias will
be left. And now we are completing six brigades more...

62.  [Castro, interrupting] Can you compare this with areas where there is no
drainage per parcel system?

63.  [Garcia] Well, practically 40,000 arrobas, 50,000. There are places where
there is almost double.

64.  [Castro] Rizo, in the report you sent me, it says that in some cases in a
second harvest the yield is lower.

65.  [Julien Rizo Alvarez, PCC Central Committee secretary] Chief, the problem
is the following. Drainage per parcel is a technology that is applied. If after
the first cut, the same is not strictly applied--the purifying and the use of
water--there is a reduction. One example is that there are some mills where the
third cut was lower. Thus we cannot just leave it at drainage per parcel. Each
one of the caballerias that comes out of drainage per parcel must have, besides
the knowledge of the workers, the quality of the seed, and sufficient work each
day with respect to...

66.  [Castro, interrupting] There should be no reason for all this.

67.  [Rizo] No reason, Commander. It is a defect we impose on it. It is
necessary to emphasize this, because the opposite is....

68.  [Castro, interrupting] Do you think that only with drainage per parcel....

69.  [Rizo, interrupting] It cannot be done with just that. As happens with
other areas of our agriculture, drainage per parcel alone will not maintain the
figures we are planning. It requires the worker knowing whoever is going to
work there. He has to be taught. He has to be told what we want.

70.  [Announcer] All speeches on the sugarcane harvest do not appear in this
informative summary. Each of the first secretaries of the provinces reported on
their problems and solutions applied to this important economic sector.  After
the exchange, the commander in chief gave specific guidance.

71.  [Castro] We did not have good luck with the weather this year. I recall
that in 1987 in a meeting of the Central Committee, I proposed we make a
special effort regarding sugarcane, because it was a good year of rain.  In
some cases the rain was excessive and harmful--as occurred in Cienfuego, Villa
Clara, Sancti Spiritus with those huge rainstorms. We appealed to the people to
work in July and August to purify the sugarcane. As a result, we had a harvest
of more than 8 million tons of sugar in the 1988-89 harvest. In truth, we
proposed making a special effort and that is what we did. An important sowing
program, an important purifying program, including an important program to
acquire equipment that would use fertilizer well and to the maximum extent.
Several hundreds of units of equipment were purchased in Brazil. Parts were
bought to make more here. The containers [mochilas] were brought by plane from
China. The harvest ended early. The entire month of May was spent in sowing and
purifying. We are making an effort to attain a harvest of 8 and  million tons
in a normal year of rain. There was nothing more unusual, nothing more
unfortunate, than what happened this year--when it did not rain even in May or
June.  This was truly unusual. I asked myself, what damage is this going to do
to agriculture and to the sugarcane.  Luckily it rained in July. It was
something, but not the same as rain in May and June. Hundreds of thousands of
caballerias that had been sown but had not received water, were already lost.
Luckily, it rained pretty well in August. This was lucky because it could have
been a greater disaster. But May and June, when it did not rain, were full of
anguish--in spite of our great effort in sowing and purifying. I saw that 1989
was going to be a serious year. None of those catastrophes we are talking about
happened in this time. But it was clear that our situation was a difficult one.
Where did our problems come from, as described by our comrade, party
secretaries in the provinces. We made plans in the 80's [as heard]. We made
commitments to sell sugar. Plans and commitments were made, but unfortunately,
comrades, the things to guarantee these millions of tons sugar were not done.
Mills were built, the mills were used, the mills were modernized. But the plans
to irrigate the sugarcane, water resource management [voluntad hidraulica]
disappeared. The plans to build dams were put on hold. The dams' construction
started to go on eternally: 15 years, 20 years. For dams that were built 12, 14
years ago, canals were not built. Canals that brought water in Alacranes
throughout the north of Santa Clara didn't exist before, and we're building
them now. It appeared that we had the best of all worlds. You would ask how the
plans were doing. No, the plans are being fulfilled in values, not the
objectives, but it looked like it was a matter of 2 months, 3 months.

72.  Between the JUCEPLAN [Central Planning Board] and the Ministry of
Construction, 2 or 3 persons appear to have agreed to develop a real lie about
all this. Even we ourselves are not aware of what is happening, what was
happening. It seemed that the plans were being fulfilled in irrigation, in the
dams, in the canals. It was all a lie, comrades. I remember a meeting with the
executive committee. A comrade of ours traveled around the country, saw all the
dams, and brought us a report on the disastrous state of the hydraulic works
throughout the country. No one would have believed it. Every year it seemed
that things were going well and the economy was growing. The plans were being
fulfilled in values, but not in objectives. It seemed that any work was behind
2 or 3 months. When we began to discover what was really happening, a little
late unfortunately, we realized that there were highways like the Santo Domingo
to Corralillo that was going to take 65 years to build.

73.  Something that the Ministry of Construction was told was not to destroy,
not to undo the brigade. They disorganized everything, mixed enterprises, built
railroads, highways, dams; they created chaos. Comrades, it was really
incredible. There was that comrade's report at a meeting. We saw how the
fulfillment of the plans for the years 1990-95, 1980-85 would be [as heard].
What was not done in 1 year, what fell behind, equalled 1 year out of the
5-year plan without doing anything. But the worst wasn't this. Because you can
build 150 million instead of 200, but out of 150 million dams that were
finished, of canals, of irrigation systems were finished, in reality not even
one was finished. When it seemed that 150 million were finished, not one
project was completed. I want you to know that before 1975, significant plans
for water projects and irrigation were made, and all these plans were
paralyzed.

74.  When we realized it, all this was paralyzed and had to be rebuilt: The
construction of dams, canals, irrigation systems, construction of drainage per
parcel systems to dispose of the necessary sugarcane, how to confront these
obligations. I will cite an example. Calculating the 40,000 additional arrobas
of sugarcane per hectare, the capacity we had at the beginning of the year, the
drainage per parcel was enough for 20,000 hectares, a little less than 20,000
hectares. This was approximately what was done this year, 20,000 hectares.
Twenty thousand hectares was approximately equivalent to producing 80,000 more
tons of sugar per year. Because we do not lack capacity in our mills, but
rather sugarcane. We will begin 1990 with a capacity for 60,000 hectares, with
the drainage per parcel system. This means increasing the capacity by 240,000
tons of sugar per year. By the end of this year, we are thinking of having 200
drainage per parcel brigades, thus the capacity will be 100,000 hectares per
year. This means that with the same land, we think that in 1991 the capacity
for production will be 400,000 tons of additional sugar per year.

75.  We have to work on 800,000 hectares. This means that we must increase the
irrigation and drainage systems.  Only in this way will it be possible to
produce 2 and  million tons more of sugar. I do not ask for more, because not
all the sugarcane being sown or already sown is harvested every year. But it is
a proven resource, with conservative figures, and the only way we have to
attain this production of 10 or 11 or 12 million tons of sugar.  We have to
start doing this now, desperately. We have had to build an irrigation factory
that at a given moment will have a capacity to produce 120,000 hectares of
irrigated land per year. Only in this way, with the factory in Bayamo, when it
is producing 1,500 machines, can we increase the irrigation of sugarcane,
vegetables or other things, by 120,000 hectares a year--not counting irrigation
in rice, new lands, other systems of irrigation such as siphon irrigation, that
we discussed here.

76.  If we wanted to attain 10 million tons of sugar, we had to do this and it
was not done. If we had only done this, I say nothing else. But sugarcane is
more than all this.  Sugarcane is honey for [word indistinct], it is honey for
the cattle, it is raw material for the sacharina and the plans we are forming.
Sugarcane is raw material for milk, sugarcane is much more. We have to struggle
for sugarcane, not just for the reasons I explained but because it is
exceptional raw material. Now, gentlemen, with the land we have devoted to
sugarcane, and dedicating only 70 percent, the potential of our land area to
produce sugar is around 14 million tons of sugar--say 13 and 1/2, because of
the yield, because some good varieties were affected by blight. But 13 and 
million tons at least of sugar, if we simply get 100,000 arrobas per
caballeria.

77.  I think that with the level of technology we have in this country, with
the number of engineers we have, the cadres we have today, if we decided on
100,000 arrobas under conditions in which we will irrigate more than half the
sugarcane lands--and there are lands which reach 100,000 without
irrigation--and we can push the age of the stock to 13 months, l4 months, 15
months, it is not some arcane theory or utopia to talk about a yield of 100,000
arrobas per caballeria. With what we are doing we must arrive there, we must
work for this, and get a hold one by one of each factor that impedes this, and
resolve them one by one. Rizo could talk about one of these things.

78.  There are some ideas about leftover sugarcane and the age of the stock has
become a magical, mystical word.  The age of the stock is nothing. Sure, if
instead of my having sugarcane of 11, 12, or 13 months, I have it of 18, I
should get more arrobas per caballeria. There is no merit to that, doubling the
sugarcane lands and giving it 14 or 15 months. But the case is that, including
14 month sugarcane, we get 60,000 arrobas, 65,000. And even with irrigated
sugarcane we have 70,000, 75,000. There is a series of subjective factors here,
or objective problems, that we have that stand in our way to prevent us from
giving the sugarcane the treatment it requires, problems with programming what
sugarcane can remain. There is land where the sugarcane should not stay,
because the land wears out, it lacks the proper conditions. The sugarcane that
stays dries out, not every caballeria, not every sugarcane, can be left for 14
months, 15 months.  We have to take care with certain ideas and certain
interpretatons so that the famous problem of age of the sugarcane does not
become an excuse for not caring for the sugarcane, seeking yields only by age,
leaving any sugarcane anywhere, any sugarcane of any variety. Whoever knows a
little bit about sugarcane knows that there are kinds that should not be left
for more than 14 months, others cannot be left for more than 15. There are some
that resist for 20, others are better off with 12. The soil, the variety of
sugarcane, are the factors that will determine the age of the sugarcane to seek
the optimum.  To universalize and to solve everything with the open sesame of
the age of the sugarcane can have its problems and serious disadvantages. And I
want you, comrades, to meditate, you comrades who are the leaders in this
municipality to meditate on all this. It is a question of meditating seriously
on this type of problem. We must fix it.

79.  We are fighting diseases, we have analyzed and discussed a plan against
the famous smut which is also a problem here. Finding varieties, preparing the
seed, we are setting up dozens of centers for seed, to warm it, to purify it,
to cure it. We are not forgetting sanitation problems either, nor are we
forgetting the problems of varieties. There is a whole plan and program for
this. There are many enemies: Hurrisugarcanes, droughts, floods, lowlands.  We
must fight all the enemies to set up a program. What I am proposing here is not
for next year, it is for the next decade, what we must do with sugarcane.

80.  We must optimize in seeking sugar yields, not lose sugarcane, industrial
yield, organized cuts, planned by age, by stock. Optimizing means, comrades,
you must prepare the conditions. One of the first tasks in a potential war of
the whole people is to take steps so that we do not fail in supplying the sugar
mills. And when we mobilize with order, and priorities, mobilize all personnel
that is needed, so that there is sugarcane in the mills. Because we have a
narrow limit. We cannot plan a harvest by finishing with a week ahead, as we
did last year. We were ahead, and then it rained. It was well done. Nobody can
be sure whether there will be no rain in March or April. This can happen, and
so we must take advantage of each day of the harvest in the best way possible.
We want to cut when the yield is highest but this means there is not a single
day's leeway, not a single day. Of course, in the end it is better to cut in
May, with 10 or 1O and  than to cut in November with 8 or 7 and 1/2, everyone
knows this. But we must do a tremendous amount of purifying work for the other
harvest, a tremendous amount of sowing. Then we must make a great effort in
March, April, May, when the workforce is worn out we must send reinforcements.
Any day when cutting can be done, use it. Don't waste a Saturday, a Sunday. 
Every day lost is lost forever. It might send us into May, it might send us
into the rains. You need an intelligent strategy. How to take out the sugarcane
from the lowest areas--this entire strategy as if we were to get rains in
March, April, as if we would go into May--a strategy for every province, for
every mill, so that whatever happens, the sugarcane we have we take. And we
take it with a good yield. Not only this, but whatever happens let us sow the
sugarcane that must be sown, and let us purify the sugarcane that must be
purified.
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