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Cuba and Argentina strengthen relations in the agricultural sector

  • by:
  • German Trade and Investment Promotion Office in Cuba
  • Project Specialist

Argentina will provide "advanced technology" for the development of the Cuban food industry. This was confirmed by Argentina's Secretary of Development Planning and Federal Competitiveness, Jorge Neme, after a meeting with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel in Havana. The talks focused on cooperation in development projects in the island's agricultural and food sectors.

In a Twitter message the Cuban leader described the meeting with Neme as "excellent". "We talked about promising projects in agriculture and trade," Diaz-Canel said, highlighting the importance of an agricultural project for grain production to be developed in the central region of Cuba with Argentine support, according to Cuban news agency ACN. The delegation from the South American country, made up of businessmen, technologists, government representatives and officials from the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA), will study the details for the start of the agricultural project in December next year, the report added.

Díaz-Canel pointed out that it is also in Cuba's interest to support projects with Argentina related to renewable energy sources and foreign investment in domestic trade, both wholesale and retail. Neme described the meeting on Twitter as an "excellent dialogue on the cooperation project in trade and agriculture that unites our countries and added that "Argentina will provide advanced technology for Cuban food development".

This is the second visit to the island by the Argentine government representative since May last year, when Neme was also received by Díaz-Canel after holding a series of meetings with Cuban authorities to boost food production on the island and gradually replace imports of basic products. On this occasion, Neme traveled to Cuba accompanied by several businessmen attending the 38th edition of the Havana International Fair (FIHAV), the country's main commercial exchange, to be held from November 14 to 18.

Since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, the Cuban government has tried to increase food production through numerous measures in agriculture. In April 2021, a series of agricultural reforms were approved under which Cuban farmers can sell whatever they produce in excess of government supply quotas. In early August 2021, the Cuban government lifted price limits on agricultural products. In late February, the Cuban government presented a food security plan. It aims to increase agricultural yields, reduce dependence on imports and improve nutritional education. Despite everything, 2021 was one of the worst years for Cuban agriculture. In many areas, production was not in line with the plan. Cuba imports about two-thirds of its food and spends nearly $2 billion a year on it-a lot of money for the national administration.