Cuba's tobacco planting season began this past week in the central Sancti Spiritus province, the country's second largest tobacco producer, while work to repair the damages caused by Hurricane Michael has commenced.
The goal is to harvest over 34,000 tons, according to the authorities. Justo Fuentes, president of the state-owned Tobacco Business Group (Tabacuba), said the company has already signed contracts with tobacco farmers on that figure, and the harvest must be higher in hectares, quality and yield this year.
Tabacuba aims to plant over 30,000 hectares this season, which will conclude in the first months of 2019 with harvest.
Meanwhile, work is underway to recover the damage caused by Hurricane Michael in the vital Vueltabajo region of Pinar del Rio, which is considered to be the world's best tobacco producing region and makes for around 70 percent of Cuba's total production.
The tobacco industry is the island's fourth largest employer and economic sector, providing jobs for around 200,000 permanent employees. At the peak of the harvest, a quarter of a million people are employed for collection.
Around 30,000 tons were harvested in the 2017-2018 season, 6,000 tons above previous figures.