According to official media reports and sources, the Cuban sugar industry is rescheduled once more to its worst year ever, persuading national pride and economic growth.
According to official statistics and two local sugar experts, the harvest for 2022 is expected to fall significantly below the previous year's record high. It is currently about 30% shy of the communist-run government's aim of 900,000 tonnes.
Last year's 800,000 tonnes harvest was the worst since 1908, compared to a total of 10 percent of the increase recorded in 1989.
Sugar was once Cuba's pride, driving it through rum production, and employment in the island's vast countryside.
Due to the threat of the coronavirus, the government has failed to provide financing for the sector, including inputs, irrigation, and spare parts.
The government will have to import and possibly cut the sugar quota on the monthly food ration., according to a sugar expert Reuters, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not permitted to speak with foreign reporters.
The government had invested in a modest increase in sugar production in order to meet its goal of 4% growth this year, owing to a drop of more than 11% in 2020, resulting in a drop of 2% last year, reducing resources available to mills and plantations.
Vice President Salvador Valdes Mesa enlisted the help of mill workers, farmers, and cane cutters in a bid to revitalize the once iconic sector.
The harvest usually starts in November and extends until May, but this year most mills opened in December and early January due to a lack of spare parts and cane.
"They will not recover the lost tonnage, and the most probable scenario is they will fall further behind as the problems are structural and long standing," said the local sugar expert.
Granma, a conservative party newspaper, detailed important sugar-producing provinces, including Villa Clara, Las Tunas, and Cienfuegos, that are well behind production targets.
According to other sources, output at all 35 of Cuba's sugar mills was in disrepair due to other reports and local sources.
Cuba had allocated 500,000 tonnes of sugar this year for domestic consumption and planned to sell China 400,000 tonnes, as part of a long-term agreement with the Asian country.