Nicaragua Table of Contents
Although much of lowland Nicaragua has a climate conducive to growing sugarcane, poor transportation has limited production to roughly the same area in northwest Nicaragua where bananas are grown. Most sugarcane is processed into whitish centrifugal sugar, the raw sugar of international commerce. Some plants further process the sugarcane into refined granulated sugar. Demand for sugar remained comparatively low until the United States-imposed embargo on Cuban sugar began in 1960. Demand then soared, and sugar production tripled over in the next two decades. Like all other agricultural products, sugar production was severely hit by the United States trade embargo on Nicaraguan products from 1985 to 1990. Production of raw sugarcane stood at 2,300 tons in 1989.
In the early 1990s, the government attempted to diversify agriculture, but had limited results. Tobacco and sesame are both produced for export. The first African palm oil plantations, which were established in the Caribbean lowlands, began production in 1990. Beans, corn, rice, and sorghum continue to be widely grown and consumed domestically.
Data as of December 1993