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has the longest season with relatively heavy volume from December to April. By the last of April the shipping for practically all vegetables is ended.

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FIGURE 28.-United States vegetable imports from Cuba, percentage distribution by months, average 1935-36, 1939-40.

Prior to 1930 import duties on fresh vegetables into the United States were relatively low, but under the Tariff Act of 1930 the basic rates were sharply increased, especially for tomatoes and lima beans, which were increased from 0.5 cent a pound to 3 and 3.5 cents, respectively. Subsequently, under the Trade Agreement of 1934 the duties on Cuban vegetables were reduced during certain months when the supplies in the United States were normally insufficient, thus minimizing the degree of competition with Florida and Texas growers. The reduction in duty is applicable only during the months specified, and in most cases the rates even during those months are still higher than they were before the increase in 1930. Table 38 shows the rates of duty effective since 1930 and the months during which the reductions have been effective since 1934.

TABLE 38.-Duties on fresh vegetables imported into the United States since 1934

Duty per pound

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Dec.-Feb.

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Jan.-Apr.

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1 Cuba has been guaranteed a 20-percent preference since 1902 on practically all products on which there
is an import duty. The rates in this column were therefore applicable after the passage of the Tariff Act
of 1930.
2 Duty is calculated as percentage of value (ad valorem).

Cuban producers have had a 20-percent duty advantage, or preference, since the Reciprocity Treaty of 1902, but under the Trade Agreement of 1934 an increased preference was guaranteed during specified months as follows: 40 percent on lima beans and 50 percent on eggplant, cucumbers, okra, and potatoes. The actual preference during these months has amounted to 40 percent for tomatoes, peppers, and squash and 60 percent for other kinds except green beans, for which the preference remains 20 percent. Even at the minimum rates seasonally applicable to Cuban vegetables, the duties have been equivalent to about 55 percent ad valorem in New York for lima beans, about 60 percent for cucumbers and squash, 70 percent for peppers, and 98 percent for tomatoes. Since the Trade Agreement, Cuban shipments to the United States have been at a materially higher level than before, but part of the increase must be attributed to the general trend toward increased consumption of fresh vegetables, as reflected also by the increased production in the United States.

There is no evidence to indicate that the seasonal duty reductions. on vegetable imports from Cuba have prevented the growth of this

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industry in the United States.46 During the six seasons following the reduction in duties in 1934, the winter vegetable industry in the United States has continued to expand. The acreage 47 planted has increased, the farm value of the crops has increased, and prices have been well maintained (table 39).

TABLE 39-Florida acreage, production, and value of six principal vegetables,1 1928-29 to 1939-40

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16 most important vegetables affected by the Cuban Agreement: Tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, and green beans.

2 Including the counties of Indian River, Okeechobee, Highland, Hardee, Manatee, and all others to the south.

U. S. Department of State, The Winter Vegetable Industry and the Trade Agreement With Cuba, Jan. 15, 1941.

The average annual value of the production of these vegetables in Florida during the 6 years following the agreement was 32 percent higher than preceding the agreement, and in Texas the farm income. from early tomatoes and potatoes during this period increased more than 16 percent.

Although the Cuban vegetable industry to some extent is competitive with production in southern Florida and Texas, it is primarily of a supplementary nature and assures supplies during periods of low production in the United States. It also provides a reserve supply in case of severe crop damage in the United States from frost, wind, or rain, which frequently results in severely curtailed production, as in 1934-35 and 1939-40 after the freezes in Florida and in 1935-36 after the hurricane. Competition between the States is probably a more important factor than the competition from Cuba, particularly since Cuban produce, because of its excellent quality, usually sells in New York at a higher price than domestic produce.

COFFEE

Cuba does not rank among the great coffee-producing countries of the world. It does produce, however, about 60 million pounds a year and not only supplies the country's needs but during the 4 years. 1937-40 exported an average of 16.7 million pounds, with a value of about 822,000 dollars annually, or nearly 30 percent of the total

46 U. S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. THE WINTER VEGETABLE INDUSTRY AND THE TRADE AGREEMENT WITH CUBA. 16 pp. Jan. 15, 1941. [Mimeographed.]

47 The harvested acreage of the so-called fall crop of tomatoes in Florida and Texas, largely marketed during December, increased from an average of 3,450 acres in 1926-30 and 4,670 in 1931-33, just prior to the agreement, to 10,760 in 1936-40. Similarly, the planted acreage of the Early-I crop in southern Florida, usually harvested from January to April, increased from 11,740 acres to about 18,850 acres during the same period.

production. From one-half to three-fourths of these exports were to the United States, though Cuba is only a minor source of coffee to the United States market, supplying only about 10 million pounds out of the total United States imports of 1,800 million pounds.

Most remarkable has been the shift or cycle in the volume of Cuban coffee production and trade. Although the industry has expanded during the past 15 years, it is by no means new to Cuba. It was first introduced successfully in 1748 by Gelabart, who brought from Santo Domingo seeds of the Hope of Arabica variety, which is still the most important in Cuba. In 1846 there were 2,328 coffee plantations producing about 50 million pounds of coffee. During the 5 years 1848-52, exports averaged about 17 million pounds annually. After 1860 the industry declined, largely as a result of the increased attention to sugar, increased coffee production abroad, and destruction resulting from wars in Cuba. During the early years. of the Republic, after the turn of the century, coffee production was almost entirely neglected. Periodically good crops were harvested and some coffee was exported, but as a rule production was far short of domestic requirements, with the result that during the 5 years 1926-30 more than 16 million pounds annually had to be imported (table 40).

TABLE 40.-Coffee production, imports, and exports, Cuba, 1911-40

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In order to revive the industry, the Cuban Government in October 1927 inaugurated a policy of higher duties on imported coffee, with the result that imports dropped from nearly 23 million pounds in 1927 to less than 12 million in 1928. In 1930 the rate of duty was again raised almost to the point of being prohibitive, and subsequently imports dropped to 0.1 million pounds annually until 1939. The desired result was achieved, and production again expanded to an export-surplus stage.

Coffee production in Cuba is essentially a mountain industry, since good quality is produced only at altitudes from 1,000 to 1,500 feet. Consequently, plantings are largely in the small mountain valleys

and along the slopes at high altitudes. Coffee is grown in three different districts of Cuba, but by far the most important, with about 85 to 87 percent of the total production, is in the mountainous regions of southern and eastern Oriente Province, in the municipalities of Alto Songo, Yateras, El Cobre, Jiguaní, Guantánamo, and Bayamo. The second coffee-growing region is in central Cuba, in the southern part of Las Villas Province in the mountains between Cienfuegos and Trinidad, with roughly 12 to 14 percent of the country's production. The third region, of minor importance with about 1 percent of the total production, is in western Cuba, in the Cabanas and San Cristóbal districts of Pinar del Río Province.

According to the 1936-37 census, there were 8,041 coffee farms or plantations having an area of about 700,000 acres, of which about 150,000 acres were planted to coffee (fig. 29). Each grower has therefore an average of 18.6 acres. Most of the growers have small acreages; nearly one-fourth have less than 4 acres, and nearly twothirds have less than 16 acres, as indicated by table 41. Some of the growers own their land, but most of them rent, either on a cash or a share-rent basis.

TABLE 41.-Coffee acreage per farm in Cuba, by Provinces, 1935–36

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Coffee trees in Cuba are grown only under shade, which is generally supplied by the natural forest trees. The coffee trees usually grow to a height of about 10 feet (fig. 30). Loose, deep, and well-drained limestone clays and clay loams are best suited. Plants are usually grown in well-shaded plots, and when from 1 to 3 years old are transplanted. Several plants are set together in one clump and spaced in squares from 5 to 7 feet apart, or from 500 to 700 bushes per acre. Hoeing and chopping are required to keep down other vegetation, and the first crop is usually produced in about the fourth or fifth year. Trees usually continue to bear for 25 years or more. Trees bloom in the winter (December to May), and berries usually ripen in from 7 to 8 months. The harvesting season is usually from August to February, but the main crop is from October to December.

Harvesting consists of picking the individual berries by hand, an operation that requires a great deal of labor. In 1936-37 about 78,332 persons were employed to harvest the crop. Wages for picking are fixed at a definite ratio to the price of coffee 48 and in 1940 amounted to about 54 cents per 100 pounds of fresh berries, equivalent to nearly 3 cents per pound of finished, marketable coffee.

48 Picking wages are fixed at 21⁄2 cents per 28-pound can for every dollar of price for cascara (dried coffee berries). At the price of 6 dollars, the rate is 15 cents per can.

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