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the northern part is wiregrass, palmetto, and pines, and in the southern part, tropical hardwoods. Fertility is relatively low, but excellent citrus fruits and winter vegetables for export are produced in the northern part through the application of commercial fertilizer and some irrigation.


With the exception of sugar, Cuba's manufacturing enterprises are not large but have been increasing during recent years under the stimulus of tariff protection. The total value of Cuba's industrial production, excluding sugar and related agricultural products, was reported to be 64 million dollars in 1939 as compared with 50 million dollars in 1938. About 32,000 people were employed in these industries in 1939.

Among the industrial products made primarily from domestic raw materials are sugar, molasses, sirups, rum, alcohol, cigars, cigarettes, rope and twine, jerked beef, dairy products, canned fruits, furniture, cement, brick, tile, and sponges. Among those made principally from imported raw materials are paint, soap, perfumes, toilet preparations, shoes, hats, hoisery, other clothing, knit goods, cotton piece goods, blankets, towels, paper and cardboard, tin cans, aluminum ware, and matches (16).


Cuba has all the usual methods of transportation but a great deficiency in farm roads. Railways connect most of the towns and sugar centrals in Cuba. (See fig. 5.) They are privately owned, consisting of 20 public-carrier companies and about 165 smaller private railways owned by the sugar centrals. Nearly two-thirds of the freight hauled on the public-carrier railways consists of sugarcane, and nearly one-fourth consists of sugar products. The sugar industry thus accounts for a total of 88 percent. The average freight rate is 2.5 cents per ton-mile and the average passenger rate is about 2.1 cents per mile.


The backbone of Cuba's system of public roads is the central highway, a hard-surfaced road 713 miles long, extending from Pinar del Río through Habana to Santiago de Cuba (fig. 6). In addition there are estimated to be about 1,400 miles of other roads suitable for automobiles and 1,500 miles suitable only for carts. Bus routes connect nearly all the principal towns and villages, except those lying along the coast beyond the mountains. 10 Transportation by automobile is difficult except on the central highway and a few other year-round roads. This fact, together with the low income of Cuban farmers, limits transportation in rural areas almost entirely to carts and horseback.


Agriculture is Cuba's most important industry, engaging about onehalf of the gainfully employed population and accounting for over 90 percent of the country's total export. Cuba's agriculture is

7 From a report by the U. S. Consulate General in Habana, based on information supplied by the Cuban Ministry of Agriculture.

In 1940 there were 3,735 miles of public-carrier railways, in addition to about 7,200 miles of sugar-company railways.


10 There were 2,847 busses registered, 13,890 trucks in service, and about 17,000 private automobiles at the end of 1940. The total number of automotive vehicles registered on December 31, 1941, was 49,541.

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FIGURE 5.-Principal railways and highways in Cuba, 1940.

generally organized on an extensive basis because of the relatively small domestic consumption and the intense competition in the export field compared with the tremendous productive capacity. An abundance of good soil, a year-round growing season, and an ample supply of labor at reasonable wages make it generally more profitable to expand onto new land than to apply commercial fertilizer or expensive equipment on a smaller land area.


Little more than one-half of Cuba's total land area is in farms. Of the total area in farms, it is estimated that nearly 60 percent is


FIGURE 6.-A section of the central highway, bordered by royal palms. (Courtesy of the Pan American Union.)

tillable, but considerably less than one-half of this is actually under cultivation (table 1). Table 2 shows the estimated acreage in the various crops and that used otherwise in 1940.11

Most of Cuba's farms are highly specialized, as for example, sugar centrals, producers of bananas for export, mountain coffee plantations, and cattle ranches. Sugar-mill lands are scattered in fertile areas throughout the island, but particularly in the central and eastern

11 Data for 1940 acreage of sugar, tobacco, and a few minor crops are actual but for other crops are estimated. There has been no census of land use since those of 1929 and 1930, which were not very accurate. Dr. I. Resillez Nieves (15) in 1939 estimated the total area in farms as high as 18.5 million acres. The difference between this and the data in the table is apparently due to his inclusion of additional grazing and mountainous coffee areas. This author estimated the area of sugar centrals at 6.3 million acres; cattle and coffee, at 8.2; and small farms, at about 4 million acres.

part. Most mill lands are devoted almost exclusively to the production of cane, as are also most of the medium and small farms surrounding the sugar mills. These farms have little livestock, and their other crops are principally to supply family food, although some also produce such crops as beans and corn for sale.

TABLE 1.-Land in farms in Cuba, by Provinces, 1930

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Censo de Población, 1931-Estadísticas Industrial y Agrícola de Cuba.

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Tobacco is the principal cash crop in certain areas in the central and western parts. In these regions are also many farms specializing in the production of pineapples and winter vegetables for export, such as tomatoes, eggplant, lima beans, and peppers. Contrasted sharply with these types are the large cattle ranches in Camagüey and Oriente similar to the ranches in western United States. Coffee plantations,


and to a smaller extent cacao plantations, are almost entirely in eastern Oriente, with a few coffee plantations near Cienfuegos. These are essentially mountain industries, unlike any other major type of agriculture except that some grazing areas in the mountains are used for cattle. Banana production for export has been confined almost entirely to the valleys in the mountainous areas in the extreme eastern end of the island near Baracoa, where it constitutes a sizable industry and the most important type of farming in that region.

The principal crops grown on general farms are the food crops for direct consumption, either for use on the farm or for sale to the cities. Sometimes these crops are combined with cash crops, such as sugar and tobacco. Principal among the general crops are corn, black and red beans, sweetpotatoes, potatoes, yams, yuca, malanga, rice, and bananas and plantains for local consumption. Peanuts for sale to oil crushers recently have also become an important cash crop for general farming.

Most farmers do not keep much livestock, the main production of cattle being on the large cattle ranches in east-central Cuba. As a rule, farmers keep one or two horses for riding, several oxen to do all the draft work, in some cases a few mules for pack work, a few hogs fed largely on palmiche nuts, and a few chickens. The occasional sale of hogs and eggs constitutes the major portion of most farmers' income from livestock.


According to the census of 1930 Cuba had 87,396 farms, including all types of farms, plantations, and ranches. Of this number nearly one-third were smaller than 34 acres (1 caballería). (See table 3.) About 40 percent had from 34 to 99 acres, 13 percent from 100 to 199 acres, and only 15 percent had 200 acres or more. There were only about 2,000 farms with more than 1,000 acres each. The average size for the country was 188 acres, but this figure is not at all representative, since the small farms are by far the most important. La Habana Province had the smallest farms, and Camagüey, with its cattle ranches and sugar centrals, the largest.

TABLE 3.-Size of farms in Cuba, by size groups, 1930

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Censo de Población, 1931-Estadísticas Industrial y Agrícola de Cuba.

According to the 1930 census, about 37 percent of the total number of farms and 40 percent of the acreage were operated directly by the owners of the land. An additional 20 percent of the land, particularly the larger holdings, was operated by administration, that is, by hired managers and laborers (table 4). About one-half of all the farmers


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