Guantanamo, Cuba, March 17 (Prensa Latina) The recovery of cocoa, coffee and coconut crops, affected by Hurricane Matthew in 2016, is currently the main priority of Baracoa Agroforestry and Coconut Enterprise, in this Cuban province of Guantánamo.
With 712 workers, this company, under the trade name of Aromas, has planted 365 hectares (ha) of cocoa, 15 more than planned, its chief expert Juan Romeo Matos told the Cuban news agency.
In addition, they overcame plans for pruning, weeding, shade regulation and other agrotechnical measures, including replanting and producing seedlings. On the other hand, the harvest was only 82% complete.
Nevertheless, Romeo said, 554 tons of acorns from which the delicious chocolate and other valuable by-products, such as cocoa butter, are obtained were exported.
“This figure had not been equaled for more than five years, as well as the sale of raw materials to industry, inaugurated in April 1963 by the then Minister of Industry, Commander Ernesto Che Guevara, and recently modernized”, he recalled.
Romeo Matos highlighted the work of the nearly 300 female employees of the company, particularly in the cocoa nurseries, where know-how, technique and delicacy must go hand in hand.
There they produce the seedlings for the micro-grafts of this plant of the Sterculiaceae family, which are intended to supply the new cocoa factory, designed to process three times as many acorns as its predecessor, inaugurated in 1963, he said. He specifies.