Aware that they are in a race against time, campesinos in Pinar del Río, like all those in the western and central regions of the island, are working to address the impacts of the recent heavy rains in the province, which were continuous over almost three weeks.
Preliminary evaluations indicate that 5,472 hectares of various crops were lost across the Vueltabajo region and around 9,000 hectares suffered damages.
This means that at least 36% of existing crops in the territory suffered damages.
Faced with this situation, the men and women dedicated to this important sphere are committed to the rescue of those crops that can still be saved, through the application of nitrogen fertilizers and other agro-technical measures.
At the same time, a short-cycle planting program is being implemented, to ensure food products are available in the summer months.
Ortelio Rodríguez Perugorría, deputy delegate for Agriculture in the territory, explained that as part of this strategy, covered tunnels usually devoted to tobacco seedlings are now being used for vegetable crops.
These protected structures are also used for the irrigation of seedbeds of cucumber, pumpkin, pepper and other crops, in order to ensure seedlings for large-scale planting when the conditions in the fields allow.
Rodríguez Perugorría noted that considering that the start of the tobacco campaign remains far off, tunnels and other similar installations are also being used in several municipalities for the “hardening” of vitroplants, with the aim of boosting their planting.
Julio Andrés García, deputy minister of Agriculture, in a work meeting to assess the damage caused and identify the measures for recovery, warned that it is necessary to learn to live with extreme weather events such as that which recently hit the country. “We have to sow the affected areas, and if possible a little more,” he said.