Friday, July 23, 2010

Cuban Sugar Industry Needs Further Reform, Ruling Party Says

Cuban Sugar Industry Needs Further Reform, Ruling Party Says

HAVANA – The Cuban Sugar Ministry will have to eliminate "unnecessary"
management posts and make other reforms after the worst harvest in more
than a century, Communist Party daily Granma said Thursday.

The daily said that industrial problems are hurting production due to
broken equipment, lack of technical training, few demands made by
managers and lack of communication with the workers, among other factors.

"The poor results of the 2009-2010 harvest provided evidence that
systematizing efficiency and lowering costs demands eliminating
unnecessary management levels and achieving a more direct and fluid link
with the production base," said the paper.

In May, Granma decried the setback to the sugar industry after the worst
harvest since 1905, noting the indications of "abysmal" efficiency and
production, the specific details of which have not been released by
Cuban authorities.

The crisis, which led to the replacement of the sugar minister, has led
to a revision of strategies in the sector, which in the last harvest
only fulfilled 56 percent of its production target.

The daily criticized on Thursday the existence of "signs of lack of
discipline" and "lack of demands" by middle managers.

It also questioned the constant rotation of managers between posts and
emphasized that "the training ... of personnel demands greater
seriousness and rigor."

"Although the investment process does not currently have the financial
resources to confront the current level of decapitalization in the sugar
industry, it is essential to distribute what there is with intelligence
and wisdom," Granma added.

During the 2008-2009 season, the island produced 1.4 million tons of
sugar and earned more than $600 million from sugar sales, once the
engine of the Cuban economy.

Between 2002 and 2004 the sugar sector suffered a profound
restructuring, with the reduction of mills, the elimination of more than
100,000 jobs and the reduction of the cropland devoted to sugarcane. EFE

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