Official figures recently published by the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI) reveal the inefficiency of the state amid the continuing crisis of the Cuban food industry and inflation, which has caused the prices of the basic food basket to skyrocket. ,
For the island’s government, “it doesn’t seem to be a priority” to find a solution to the crisis, Cuban economist Pedro Monreal questioned on Twitter.
Experts point out that this “collapse” goes beyond industrial food production, and includes the national supply of key inputs for agricultural production, such as fertilizers and feed.
“They haven’t released the agricultural data for 2022 yet, but have no illusions,” Monreal warned.
In another thread published on Twitter this Monday, The Economist analyzed the drop in retail food sales in Cuba in 2022, which falls by -66.9% when prices are adjusted for inflation.
“The deflation figures for 2022 offer a disastrous panorama. The general average and the data for every food category present little value compared to the previous year’s figures,” explains Monreal.
Experts warn that an annual drop in retail food sales of two-thirds, such as that occurred on the island, “is no small matter.”
Behind the statistics, malnourished populations emerge from three fundamental causes: product shortages, high prices, and low purchasing power.
“The drastic contraction in the “real” case of food retail sales in 2022 reveals an important dimension of the brutal “adjustment” of consumption and aggregate purchasing power in Cuba, the cost of the adjustment being concentrated on workers and retirees,” he stressed. Said. ,
In previous publications, The Economist pointed out that the increase in salaries and pensions on the island was not significant compared to the extreme increase in food prices, which had an interannual increase of 75%.
For example, two dozen eggs already cost 1,800 pesos, the minimum income for a retiree is 1,528 pesos a month, and a book on cooking oil costs between 1,700 and 1,800 pesos.
Meanwhile, the government has expressed its inability to deal with the problem. Agriculture Minister Yedel Perez Brito made a statement last week about the current state of food production in the country, saying, “It is to feed the people, as it is done to the revolution.”