Cuban cigar industry impacted by El Nino phenomenon

World Today

It’s been a challenging year for the Cuban cigar industry which has managed to increase sales despite the slowdown in the world economy.

But it is facing other problems closer to home, which could affect future sales. The El Nino weather phenomenon has impacted on this year’s tobacco crops.

CCTV America’s Michael Voss reports.

Cuban cigar industry impacted by El Nino phenomenon

It's been a challenging year for the Cuban cigar industry which has managed to increase sales despite the slowdown in the world economy. But it is facing other problems closer to home, which could affect future sales. The El Nino weather phenomenon has impacted on this year's tobacco crops. CCTV America's Michael Voss reports. Its harvest time on the tobacco farms of Pinar del Rio province in western Cuba, the island's premier growing region. But this past year has been a battle against the elements as Cuba suffered the worst drought it has seen in decades. That was followed by torrential rains in January, which is normally a dry winter month. The tobacco drying sheds are starting to fill up but for the Hernandez family, who have been producing tobacco here for generations, this ranks as one of their more difficult years. The bad weather comes are a time when the cigar factories are busy, as global sales of continues to rise. This is the El Lagito cigar factory in Havana which produces Cuba's premium and most expensive cigars, the Cohiba range. Right now they are using tobacco grown in previous years. Like fine wine it's been matured. Cuba is not alone. All the other tobacco growing countries in the region have been affected by the El Nino produced climatic changes. The challenge is to maintain output without compromising quality, which is at the heart of the Cuban cigar brand.

Its harvest time on the tobacco farms of Pinar del Rio province in western Cuba, the island’s premier growing region. But this past year has been a battle against the elements as Cuba suffered the worst drought it has seen in decades.

That was followed by torrential rains in January, which is normally a dry winter month. The tobacco drying sheds are starting to fill up but for the Hernandez family, who have been producing tobacco here for generations, this ranks as one of their more difficult years.

The bad weather comes are a time when the cigar factories are busy, as global sales of continues to rise.

The El Lagito cigar factory in Havana produces Cuba’s premium and most expensive cigars, the Cohiba range. Right now they are using tobacco grown in previous years. Like fine wine it’s been matured.

Cuba is not alone. All the other tobacco growing countries in the region have been affected by the El Nino produced climatic changes. The challenge is to maintain output without compromising quality, which is at the heart of the Cuban cigar brand.


Climate expert Pipa Elias on weather impact

CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo interviewed Pipa Elias, the Senior Policy Advisor for Global Lands and Climate at The Nature Conservancy about the weather impact on crops.

Climate expert Pipa Elias on weather impact

CCTV America's Rachelle Akuffo interviewed Pipa Elias, the Senior Policy Advisor for Global Lands and Climate at The Nature Conservancy about the weather impact on crops.