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A group of nearly 100 US agricultural entrepreneurs presented today in Cuba to probe the market possibilities and "send a message" to advocate for an end to US embargo against the island.

"We are here to learn and understand the Cuban agricultural industry," said Devry Boughner, president of the "Agricultural Coalition United States for Cuba," which reached the island accompanied by two former US secretaries of Agriculture, Democrat Michael Espy and Republican John Block.

"We are also here to send a message (...), we are working to end the embargo," said Boughner.

The 96 farmers gathered today in Havana with Cuban government representatives and visit Tuesday morning four provinces of the neighboring island to Havana to meet the agricultural sector.

The recent diplomatic thaw and relaxations of US President, Barack Obama, the embargo Washington imposed on Cuba since the 60s have also raised expectations in American agricultural industry.

The Cuban agricultural sector is highly inefficient for years. The island, which imports much of its food, expects to spend in 2015 almost 2,200 billion in imports in that category, according to official estimates.

The farmer group travel Tuesday to the provinces of Pinar del Rio, Matanzas, Artemisa and Mayabeque, adjacent to Havana. The Americans will visit six different groups among other facilities a sugar mill in Artemisa and aquaculture center in the Bay of Pigs, in Matanzas.

Also on farm crops of fruit, tubers, grains and other vegetables, and livestock raising. The coordinated with the Cuban authorities program includes visits to fields of snuff and rice.

The historic diplomatic rapprochement between Cuba and the United States has generated great expectations in both countries. Several US Democratic politicians have visited the island in recent weeks, including representatives of states of strong agricultural production.

Source: Havana Times

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