Azutecnia: Innovations in Cuban Sugar Agribusiness

The AZT-6000 machine, designed and built in Cuba and currently being used in the preparation of the country’s sugarcane fields, guarantees a fast sowing, with greater efficiency and less use of human resources.

This sugarcane sowing machine is the crown of the Sugar Industry Exporting Enterprise (Azutecnia) – under the umbrella of the AzCuba Sugar Business Group -, a young and vigorous entity comprising workers with high professionalism and specialization in the Cuban traditional productive sector.

AZT 6000 humanizes cultivation, boosting sugarcane production on the island and transforming its methods in order to increase the presence of sugar in the domestic market and guarantee its standing in the world.

Azutecnia provides services in workshops, foundering, engineering works, irrigation and soil preparation, communications workshops and assistance to the new technologies and air conditioning. Its machines, located across all of Cuba, are irreplaceable in the cultivation and processing of sugarcane. It manufactures and repairs machinery and provides technical assistance to ensure a quality service in the production and cutting of sugarcane, specified Danais Sandoval Nodarse, director of research and development.

The institution has a competent movement of innovators and rationalizers who, concentrated in the modernization of the cultivation of the crop, saves the country thousands of dollars. Each idea developed by them, each improved machinery, generates a considerable benefit. The AZT 6000 sugarcane sowing machine is an example of the creativity in the mechanization of work and the substitution of imports in hard currency.

The idea comes from the experience of producing countries that use similar machines. The current model, now generalized, was designed from an initial prototype of Camagüey sugar workers. It enables improvements in the sowing of sugarcane and tries for it to not be manual but rather mechanized. It increases the levels of productivity, says Sandoval Nodarse.

Because the AZT 6000 is a multifunctional tool, built according to international standards, but with a Cuban design that takes into account the characteristics of our soils and other important factors.

It can be used to plant, plow, sow, cover and compact the cane deposited in the furrow and apply the necessary fertilizer for this type of crop. Its speed is impressive: one hectare per hour.

 

Foto: Cortesía de Azutecnia.
Photo: Azutecnia.

“This type of machine has always been used, but to a lesser degree. Now, with our combine harvester, this use has become intensive,” explains Sandoval Nodarse, and she specifies that dozens of combine harvesters are already being used in the country.

The Azutecnia workshops’ services are fundamental to maintain other machineries. They are designed to manufacture, recover and give maintenance to engines and spare parts. The parts in a bad state are replaced, always with a significant saving, taking into account the value of these parts in the world market.

The variety is incalculable. It would be impossible to speak of harvest in Cuba today without considering these services: rectification of crankshafts, alignment and covering of blocks and polishing of linings for internal combustion engines. In addition, a varied assortment of iron, rubber and plastic components are melted.

Foto: Cortesía de Azutecnia.
Photo: Azutecnia.

 

With ambitious objectives, Azutecnia offers very varied and quality services in the very heart of the plantations. It is involved in many engineering works, from the recovery of soils for the cultivation of sugarcane, to building conduits with their pumping stations. Its staff also assembles and repairs irrigation systems, but its work doesn’t stop there.

“We work in the preparation of soils. When the areas are freed we come in to prepare the ground. Afterwards comes the sowing, manual or with our combines. We always have work,” affirms Sandoval Nodarse.

But the sugar industry isn’t the only one that requires and uses its services. Other sectors of Cuban agriculture can request them. Their machinery, like the silo harvesters, are ideal to guarantee the fodder in cattle raising. Moreover, they have worked jointly with the island’s provincial governments in the repair of the tractors of the Garbage Collecting Services.

Foto: Cortesía de Azutecnia.
Photo: Azutecnia.

The assistance to new technologies and air conditioning is one of its great assets. Azutecnia manufactures 34 lines of KTP-10 and CASE combine harvesters, without which it would be almost impossible to raise the levels of production.

There are mobile workshops distributed throughout the country and they provide technical services to the machines in the fields and the sugar factories. The engineers receive training in Cuba as well as abroad about the agribusiness’ new technologies.

At present, when the country is oriented at the modernization of the agribusiness, Azutecnia is one its most important pillars.

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