Arable land covers virtually one-third of Cuba. The soil is extremely fertile, permitting up come two crops per year, but the very variable nature of yearly precipitation has actually historically plagued agriculture. Subterranean waters are crucial for irrigation. A small but boosting share of crops is created on personal land or through cooperatives that are not owned by the state. Under Raúl Castro’s rule, some exclusive farmers have been permitted to maintain unused government land to rise food production.

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The Cuban economic climate has depended greatly on the sugarcane crop because the 18th century. Vast areas have been leveled, irrigated, and also planted in sugarcane, and also yields per acre have actually increased v the applications of fertilizers. Sugar output, except in years of dryness or sugarcane blight, enhanced after the development of mechanically based harvesters in the early on 1970s but plunged after ~ the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Plenty of of the island’s sugar mills closed, and sugar production ongoing to decline in the early on 2000s.

Apart indigenous sugarcane, the chief crops are rice (the main source of calories in the timeless diet), citrus fruit (which space also vital export), potatoes, plantains and also bananas, cassava (manioc), tomatoes, and corn (maize). Fruit trees encompass such citrus ranges as lemon, orange, and also grapefruit; some varieties of the genus Annona, consisting of the guanábana (soursop) and anón (sweetsop); and also avocados and also papayas. Tobacco, traditionally the country’s second most essential export crop, is grown largely in the Pinar del Río area in the west and likewise in the centre of the key island. Coffee grows greatly in the east, whereby Guantánamo city is well-known as the “coffee capital” that Cuba. Other commodities include cacao and beans. Cuba imports huge amounts of rice and also other foodstuffs, oilseeds, and also cotton.


Tobacco pipeline drying in the Viñales valley, Cuba.

Cattle, pigs, and also chickens are the key livestock. The number of cattle enhanced in the 1960s, as veterinary services progressed and irrigation systems improved, however decreased over subsequent decades. Brahman (zebu) cattle, the leading breed, prosper in the tropic climate however yield low amounts of milk. Holstein cattle are more productive however prone to disease in the Cuban environment. Cuban farmers raise approximately half as many pigs as cattle.

The supply of Cuban wood is limited. Pine trees are found throughout the country, and durable mahogany is that potential financial importance, while ebony (Diospyros) and also granadilla (cocus, or West Indian ebony; Brya ebenus) carry out beautiful and valuable wood.

Fishing resources are far-ranging on the coast and also at sea. Amongst the varieties of fish captured locally are tuna, hake, and also needlefish. The in its entirety volume the fish, crustaceans, and also other seafood landed enhanced sevenfold during the period 1959–79, largely due to the fact that the government, with the help of Soviet financing, invested greatly in fishing vessels and processing plants. Landings subsequently lessened from the so late 1980s come the so late 1990s, after the breakup that the Soviet Union caused diminished funding. By the early on 21st century, Cuba had diversified that fishing activities to encompass aquaculture (sea bream, sea bass, tilapia, and carp). It additionally increased the variety of processing plants, especially for shrimp and also lobster, with foreign investment from Canada and also European Union countries.

Resources and also power

Because the it is provided of flow water is limited, wells in La Habana district and elsewhere attract heavily on groundwater supplies. The key hydroelectric power plants are located in southeastern Cuba.

Domestic petroleum and natural gas deposits supply a growing portion of the country’s needs, yet the bulk is met by imports indigenous Mexico and also Venezuela. In fact, because the 1990s Cuba has received totally free oil native Venezuela in exchange for sending thousands of its medical professionals to law Venezuela’s poor. In the mid-2000s Venezuela sponsor the renovation of a dilapidated oil refinery in the Cienfuegos area that Cuba. The refinery has actually the volume to refine hundreds of thousands the barrels that the oil imported native Venezuela. Peat, concentrated in the Zapata Peninsula, is quiet the most substantial fuel reserve. Nickel, chromite, and copper mines are essential to Cuba, and also beds of laterite (an stole ore) in the Holguín an ar have significant potential. Nickel ore, which likewise yields cobalt, is processed in several huge plants, and Cuba is a people leader in nickel production. There are also major reserves that magnetite and also manganese and lesser amounts of lead, zinc, gold, silver, and tungsten. Plentiful reserves of limestone, rock salt, gypsum, kaolin (china clay), and marble are uncovered on Juventud Island.


Industrial production accounts because that slightly an ext than one-tenth of the gross residential product (GDP). Tobacco, processed foods items (including sugar), and also beverages space the most an important products. Chemical products, deliver equipment, and machinery are also important.

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The bank system has actually been activate by the state because 1966 v the National bank of Cuba, i m sorry sets interest rates, regulates international exchange, and issues money (the Cuban peso and also the convertible peso). There room no stock exchanges. International investment was prohibited until 1982, as soon as a joint-venture regulation was enacted. The government has had actually increasing success in ~ attracting personal capital and also foreign-owned commercial banks since the 1990s, especially with European and also Canadian investors; however, U.S. Investment has actually been withheld because it violates the Helms-Burton law enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1996.