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Rice, bean output rises.

Rice and bean production increased significantly in the first seven months of the year as government efforts to boost output and reduce imports of both commodities appeared to be bearing fruit, reports Reuters (Sept. 5, 2009). Rice production rose 15.4 % to 98,000 tons and rice lands planted increased 43.8%, while beans jumped 26.4% to 45,000 tons, the National Statistics office reported on its web page. Cuba produced 195,000 tons of consumable rice in 2008 and imported 567,000 tons, most of it from Vietnam's state-run Northern Food Corp under preferential financial terms. The island produced 97,000 tons of beans last year and imported 246,000 tons of dried beans, according to government statistics. Cuba spent US$2.2 billion last year to buy food, including US$700 million for rice and beans combined. It imports about 70% of its food. Most land remains in state hands, but private farmers and cooperatives own some 20%. The state controls the wholesale purchase and retail distribution of between 80% and 90% of all that is produced.

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Publication:Caribbean Update
Date:Oct 1, 2009
Words:180
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