"For two centuries, Cuba’s economic health has depended on sugar. This book assesses whether or not, and why, this will be so in the future."-- Sergio Díaz-Briquets, executive director, Council for Human Development
Following forty years of tension between Cuba and the United States, this study of Cuba’s agroindustry presents the results of a remarkable collaboration between researchers living in the two countries. The authors consider the prospects for the sugar industry--offering scenarios of a smaller, more efficient role in the economy--and examine reforms of the early 1990s.
The book begins with an overview of the 1959-79 period and then focuses on the next twenty years, when the industry was heavily subsidized by the Soviet Union. It discusses the future of a restructured industry, including the importance of sugar by-products and derivatives, potential competition between the United States and Cuba, and interests the countries share.
No book of this scope about the sugar industry has been published in or outside Cuba. It offers the balanced perspectives of the coauthors, who visited cooperatives, state farms, sugarcane collection centers, self-sufficiency plots, mills, refineries, alcohol distilleries, by-product enterprises, and research institutions. In the process they conducted interviews with officials and specialists at the sugar and agriculture ministries.
An important reference for those interested in the future of the sugar industry and for scholars in the areas of agricultural economics and commodity trade, this book also will be valuable for analysts following political and economic developments in Cuba.
José Alvarez, professor and extension economist at the University of Florida’s Everglades Research and Education Center, Belle Glade, is the coauthor of Marketing Sugar and Other Sweeteners and Microcomputers as Management Tools in the Sugar Cane Industry.
Lázaro Peña Castellanos is researcher and head of the Macroeconomics Department at the University of Havana’s Center for Research on the International Economy. Together, they have written many articles in publications such as Sugar y Azucar, Agriculture and Human Values, Journal of International Food and Agribusiness Marketing, and Cuba in Transition.