Hurricane Ian destroys 8,583 hectares of crops in western Cuba

HAVANA, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Hurricane Ian destroyed 8,583 hectares of cropland in western Cuba, the weekly Tribuna de La Habana reported Friday.

The hurricane trampled 5,233 hectares of banana plantations in the provinces of Pinar del Rio, Matanzas, Havana, Artemisa and Mayabeque, and the Isle of Youth, the weekly cited the Agriculture Ministry as saying.

Another 1,350 hectares of coffee plants were damaged, as well as fields of cassava, sweet potato, tomatoes, beans and rice, authorities estimate.

In the westernmost province of Pinar del Rio, which was hit the hardest, the hurricane also damaged some 220 tons of tobacco leaf.

The hurricane hit as Cuba's agricultural sector implements a package of 63 measures to boost national food production to counter stepped-up U.S. sanctions against the island.

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