Cuban Sugar Ministry says 2011 production to be similar or just higher than last year

CALIMETE, Cuba (AP) – Cuban officials say 2011 sugar production will be similar to or slightly higher than last year’s total — described at the time as the island’s worst in more than a century.

Sugar Ministry expert Osiris Quintero says the harvest is nearly complete and production is expected to be slightly above forecasts. He says it will about the same as the 1.1 million tons produced in 2010.

Cuba’s former sugar minister was ousted last May after the government reported its worst sugar harvest since 1905.

Sugar once dominated Cuba’s economy but has now fallen behind tourism and nickel mining.

Still, President Raul Castro and other officials are pushing for improved productivity. They say that is the key to boosting Cuba’s sluggish economy.


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