April 6, 2016


US agriculture organisations now permitted to interact with Cuban counterparts 


The USDA will permit 22 industry-sponsored researches and programmes as well as 18 marketing order organisations to participate in research and information exchanges with Cuba, Tom Vilsack, the US Agriculture Secretary, said.


Industry-sponsored groups include US beef, pork, corn, soy and other commodities.


Vilsack was part of President Barack Obama's delegation during a historic visit to Cuba in March this year. The President announced that the country will now have opportunities to cooperate with agriculture and food sectors in the US.


The latest development is a "significant step" towards improving the agricultural trade between the US and Cuba, Vilsack commented. It was also welcomed by industry groups such as American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the American Feed Industry Association, the American Soybean Association, Illinois Soybean Growers, International Dairy Foods Association, the National Black Growers Council, and the National Farmers Union.


"American-grown foods hold a clear competitive advantage in the Cuban marketplace, and the use of farmer- and rancher-generated funds to promote and market US farm goods fits the checkoff mission perfectly," Zippy Duvall, president of AFBF, said.


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