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Foreign Agriculture Bulletin No. 2

Issued December 1942

1 Submitted for publication November 1942.

2 This bulletin was prepared by the author while on detail to the Department of Agriculture. The

author was a member of a commission which early in 1941 at the request of the Cuban Government studied

the possibilities for the diversification of Cuban agriculture.

Grateful acknowledgment is given especially to Consul General H. S. Tewell and other officers of the U.S.

Consulate General at Habana for basic information contained in their reports. Acknowledgment is also due

the Cuban Ministry of Agriculture for supplying information and photographs. The assistance of R. F.

Lankenau in collecting data is likewise gratefully acknowledged.

The metric system of weights and measures is extensively used in Cuba, but in addition there are several

other common units peculiar to the country. The following rates of conversion were used in this report:

Length

Volume

Kilometer.

mile.. 0.6214
Meter.

Восоу.

175
inches.. 39. 37

gallons..

Ріра.

do

126

Vara..

do... 33. 4

Liter.

.quarts.-

1. 057

Area

Weight

Caballería

acres.. 33. 1619

Caró

do 3. 31619 Long ton (Cuban) pounds.. 2, 272.032

Hectárea

do 2. 471 Short ton (Cuban).

do. 2,028. 6

Rosa

do 1. 77693 Metric ton.

do.

2, 204. 62

Besana

do 0. 63969 Quintal.

do.. 101. 43

Cordel.

do. 0. 102352 Arroba.

do...

25. 3575

Are (1/100 hectárea).

do. 0.02471 Libra

do...

1.0143

The Cuban peso (100 centavos) was almost exactly equal in value to the United States dollar from 1903

to September 1939, when its value declined to approximately 90 cents. It remained at about this level until

Tune 1941 and then rose to 99 cents. All values given are the original Cuban pesos without conversions

467070-43-1

1

INTRODUCTION

The palm-covered island of Cuba 3 is frequently called the Pearl of the Antilles. It is the largest of the West Indian Islands and lies in the Caribbean Sea only about 90 miles south of Key West, Florida. Cuba is the nearest to the United States all of our Latin American neighbors with the exception of Mexico (fig. 1). It has an area of

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OFAR-13

FIGURE 1.-Cuba and the Caribbean area.

44,164 square miles, which is about the size of either Pennsylvania or Louisiana, and it is about three times as large as Switzerland. Cuba is rather densely populated, with about 4.2 million inhabitants. The climate is subtropical, frost-free, but with moderate rainfall. Sugar and, to a smaller extent, tobacco are by far the most important items produced and exported.

The Republic of Cuba consists of the island of Cuba, about 27.5 million acres, and the Isle of Pines, about three-fourths of a million acres, in addition to numerous smaller islands. Cuba is long and narrow, extending 760 miles from end to end, but is only 25 to 100 miles wide. The eastern end is only 50 miles from Haiti and less than

The island was named Juana (by Columbus), then Fernandía, Santiago, and Ave María, and finally regained its original Indian name of Cuba.

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