Cuba is employing thousands more oxen to plough sugar cane fields and pull farmers’ carts due to lack of fuel for ploughing machines and transport vehicles.
Horses will also be used for transport. The strange thing is that such measures reflect a far more serious situation than the month-long temporary shortage stated by President Diaz Canel.
Cuban farmers are already using some oxen, though agriculture had become largely mechanised. The government will now add about 8,000 oxen to those already in use.
Cuba is experiencing fuel shortages due to a drop in the imports from crisis-hit Venezuela, also under US sanctions.
The island’s sugar cane production fell to 1.2 million tons in the season ending last May, down from 1.6 million tons in the previous season.
Cuba imports the majority of the basic foods consumed by its population, a large burden for its depressed state-centred economy.