HAVANA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) — Cuban farmers are installing a new type of tobacco curing barn in Pinar del Rio province that aims to mitigate the effects of climate change, local media said on Monday.
The new barns are bigger and more resistant to winds, with a roof strut that is 30 percent lower and a support area expanding from 10.2 to 19.2 meters, according to Cuba’s state daily Granma.
They also have two lateral hallways to provide greater illumination and control excess humidity in the event of heavy rains, and 60 percent more capacity to cure tobacco.
In 2002, hurricanes Isidore and Lili damaged more than 1,600 curing barns at the towns of San Juan and Martinez alone.
Six years later, hurricanes Gustav and Ike wrecked more havoc on the tobacco industry, damaging 7,000 barns across the island.
Tobacco is Cuba’s fourth leading contributor to gross domestic product, and employs 200,000 to 250,000 people during the peak harvest season.