24 March 1999
Tobacco up, sugar down in Cuba

PRODUCTION of sugar and tobacco in Cuba is moving in different directions, reports the Financial Times in a special survey on the region.

Cubas sugar industry, which was plunged into recession after the collapse of the Soviet Union, has seen output fall to its lowest level in 50 years.

The Soviet Union was Cubas largest market sugar and also supplied fertilisers, agricultural machinery and fuel and financing for sugar production.

Problems securing these inputs has been exacerbated by poor weather and over-intensive exploitation of the crop.

Meanwhile, Cuba has secured a global marketplace for its cigars and tobacco is now planted in almost every province in the country.