Tall, thin and deeply tanned by the harsh Cuban sun, the tobacco man gently picks up the dried leaves of his tobacco plants hanging in his curing bar called “casas de tobacco” and starts to roll me a cigar.
Visiting this region is a step back in time, with farmers and workers still doing things the way they’ve been done them for generations. Planting, trimming and harvesting are all done by hand.
Cuba has the second largest area planted with tobacco of all countries world wide, its tobacco production has remained about the same since the late 1990s. Cigars are a famous and popular Cuban product worldwide, almost the whole production is exported. The center of Cuban tobacco production is the Pinar del Río Province in West Cuba. Tobacco is the third largest source of hard currency for Cuba. The income derived from the cigars is estimated at US$200 million, the farmer’s monthly salary is approx. 40US$. The two main varieties grown in Cuba are Corojo and Criollo. 85% of the tobacco grown in Cuba is produced by National Association of Small Farmers members.