According to Experts, Cuba's Agriculture Has a very Promising Future
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- Business and Economy
- 09 / 30 / 2009
"The Cuban climate is very good, has good resources, and an agricultural system with potential," Messina said. "But the truth is that we don't see big trends toward its development in terms of regulation."
The UF expert mentioned the fact that last year the hurricane season inflicted huge harm on Cuban agriculture after the island was hit by two hurricanes and a tropical storm. Cuba's losses amounted to $10 billion and it lost all of its crops for the year.
The tragedy coincided with a decrease in food imports, said John Kavulich, president of Cuba-U.S. Economic and Trade Council.
"Food and agricultural exports went down approximately 20 percent so far this year due to the consistent lack of foreign currency in Cuba," Kavulich said. "They have always opted to use that type of currency to buy food."
Messina and Kavulich came to Miami to take part in the annual conference of the Americas, hosted by The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. With them was Carlo Dade, director of the Canadian Foundation for the Americas, who will travel to Havana next week at a time in which the trade links of his country with the communist island have suffered a significant contraction.
"At this time we see Cuba's future in terms of new opportunities," Dade said. "We must continue to explore possibilities in economic terms, since many of our joint projects have nearly disappeared."
In his opinion, since the '90s, Canadian investments in Cuba diversified in the areas of oil and mineral extractions, but now they are decreasing due to the fall in prices in the case of minerals, and the lack of Cuban investments in the case of oil.
"Our businesses have had a presence, but I can't say it's significant at this time," Dade said.
According to the expert, when agricultural imports opened in Cuba, the United States had an advantage over Canada.
"Canada is a good exporter of agricultural products, but when the United States began to sell to Cuba, our business with Cuba changed. Our entrepreneurs turned to other Latin American countries such as Peru and Ecuador. "
Source: Miami Herald