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GIEWS Country Brief: Cuba 10-November-2010

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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

- 2010 rice production expected to fall

- Aggregate agricultural/livestock production will fall in 2010 following the drought in the first of the year

Severe downpours caused by the tropical storm Paula in October

Heavy downpours and strong winds caused by the tropical storm in mid-October seriously damaged infrastructure. But the abundant rainfall helped to improve soil humidity levels that had been affected by the long dry period in the first half of the year.

2010 rice output is expected to fall below the 2009 good harvest

The 2010 main cereals harvest is now in progress. Preliminary estimates indicate a 4 percent fall from last year's comparatively high production levels, due to the serious shortage of rainfall in the first few months of the cropping season. However production is forecast to remain above the average of the past five years thanks to the good harvest in the main production province of Granma, which is only slightly affected by the lack of rainfall.

Crop and livestock production is lower in 2010

Because of the prolonged drought from September 2009 to June 2010 in the first half of 2010 total agricultural and livestock production fell by 7.5 percent compared with the same period in 2009. Beans have been among the most seriously affected crops. This year's sugar harvest is also expected to be the lowest this century.

Because of this fall in output, the government has cut sugar rations by 20 percent per month from the previous five pounds (2.27kg).