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    Cuba to close 2017 cigar harvest with nearly 30,000 tons of tobacco leaves

    Cuba to close 2017 cigar harvest with nearly 30,000 tons of tobacco leaves
    Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-30 11:27:02

    HAVANA, May 29 (Xinhua) — Cuba will conclude its current tobacco
    harvest with almost 30,000 tons of leaves, which is expected to increase
    incomes of one of the island’s main exports and have a positive impact
    on its economy.
    The state-owned Tabacuba business group on Monday reported a “favorable”
    harvest as all cigar companies in the country fulfilled the plantation
    process. However, not all of them will complete the scheduled productions.
    Gonzalo Rodriguez, agricultural director of Tabacuba, said to local
    media that the western province of Pinar del Rio, where the best leaves
    are planted, contributed about 70 percent of the national production and
    will try to reach 19,000 tons.
    “We’ll advance on a project to promote tobacco plantations in the
    eastern and central areas of the island in order to supply the Holguin
    cigar factory which has a demand of more than 8,000 tons of leaves,” he
    said.
    Rodriguez highlighted the “significant” increase in “covered tobacco,”
    which is a method to grow the crop inside a cloth covered house that
    filters sunlight and retains the heat allowing bigger and thinner leaves.
    “These thin leaves collected at these plantations are used to cover the
    outside layer of premium cigars to give them the finest taste of all,”
    he said.
    In addition, he said the island hopes to complete the harvest in
    mid-July and then start planting seeds for the next tobacco campaign.
    Last year, Cuba reached 24,000 tons of leaves during its tobacco
    harvest, according to official data provided by Tabacuba.
    Tabacuba runs 96 cigar factories in the nation, 46 of which are
    dedicated exclusively to producing cigars for exports and are entirely
    rolled by hand.
    This industry employs about 200,000 workers in the island, and the
    figure rises to 250,000 at the peak of the harvest.
    Cigar exports are the fourth source of revenues to Cuba’s gross domestic
    product, which reached 445 million U.S. dollars in 2016.
    Currently, the main clients of Cuban cigars are customers in Spain,
    France, China and Germany.

    Source: Cuba to close 2017 cigar harvest with nearly 30,000 tons of
    tobacco leaves – Xinhua | English.news.cn –
    news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-05/30/c_136325561.htm