Antonio Guiteras sugar mill, in Delicias, Puerto Padre, Las Tunas.

The ghosts of the harvest haunt the fields and the two sugar mills, Antonio Guiteras and Majibacoa, in charge of manufacturing the more than 61,500 tons of sugar that are fundamentally needed by the regulated family basket, social consumption, mixed companies, and other prioritized sectors.

Las Tunas, Cuba.- The ghosts translate into the lack of resources and inputs to optimize the repairs carried out in industries equipped with old, almost obsolete technologies, which function thanks to the tenacity and laboriousness of innovators and rationalizers, as giant as the mills themselves, who by dint of will return the useful life to the machinery year after year, awaiting the necessary and total renewal.

However, it is worth recognizing that, even in such difficult times, the country's leadership secured resources that exceed those received in previous years, which on this occasion allowed certain improvements; for example, in the "Guiteras", to several types of machinery in the areas of steam generation, water treatment, and the manufacturing plant, admitted engineer Juan Carlos Molina, director of the sugar mill.

However, the country has accumulated debts with an industry that is history, culture, tradition, and pride of the nation. Accordingly, the debts deserve a comprehensive, rapid, and coherent look that sponsors essential technological changes and provides the fields with the necessary “irons” to meet the demands of the factories.

The implementation of the 93 measures approved to save the sugar agroindustry, its derivatives, and energy generation also requires special attention; and confront the apathy that delays it in matters that already demonstrate its benefits, such as the creation of labor collectives.
Added to these realities is the erratic behavior of the climate that, after an intense drought, brought heavy rains in the northern zone, where areas that supply raw materials to these mills are located, which recorded, in September, 196 millimeters; October, 296; November, 217; December, 50; and 35 mm in the first days of January. These precipitations deteriorated the roads and affected the maturation of the sugarcane.

The current financial situation that the country is experiencing is a secret to no one, exacerbated by the tightening of the United States economic blockade, which includes clauses that extraterritorialize its impact, and the complex international context, marked by war conflicts developed in a post-pandemic stage.

It is enough to point out that of the 85 million dollars necessary for the development of the current harvest, only about 18 can be allocated, according to engineer José Carlos Santos Ferrer, first vice president of the AZCUBA Sugar Group, who described the situation in which the 2023-2024 sugar harvest is carried out as a war scenario context.

For that reason, and others of similar weight, during an exchange with the main actors linked to this important economic branch, the manager called for deploying all possible potential that favors high and stable milling, attention to the workers, industrial efficiency, and the fight against crime, animal damage, and unscheduled fires in sugarcane plantations.

Despite so many setbacks, it is undeniable that men and women, managers and workers, responsible for sugar production are struggling to stabilize the harvest; and they reaffirm that “where there are sugar producers, there are no ghosts,” paraphrasing an old popular proverb with a literal translation in the enormous daily effort to overcome obstacles and recover a delay that is around 20 thousand tons.