HAVANA.- Cuba and the U.S signed an agriculture sector related memorandum of agreement that aims to foster cooperation in support of advances in trade, productivity and food security in the Caribbean country.
The document was signed during the visit of U.S. president Barack Obama to Cuba by the Cuban Minister of Agriculture, Gustavo Rodríguez Rollero and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Thomas Vilsack.
Both agreed that the accord demonstrates the interest of the two administrations in working towards the normalization of relations between the two nations.
The instrument also seeks to reinforce food security, the sustainable management of natural resources and the protection of lands against the introduction and proliferation of plagues and plant, animal and environmental diseases, on the basis of mutual respect and equality.
It also endeavors to exploit all the advantages in the agriculture and forestry sectors of the two countries, both in terms of the reserves of natural resources and the facilitation of integral cooperation in matters that relate to agriculture and food, agricultural science, technology the environment and trade.
Rodríguez Rollero explained that the memorandum is the result of a visit to Cuba by Vilsack last November, during which she was able to view the stoic efforts made by country men and women, farmers and members of cooperatives to make the land productive despite the shortage of supplies and modern technologies caused by the blockade.
The Cuban minister explained that both sides identified certain spheres of plant and animal health for cooperation on the prevention of plagues and diseases.
The U.S. Agriculture Secretary said that the blockade was an obstacle to full cooperation and that Obama’s visit sent the message that it should be lifted.
She added that the memorandum was the first step on a road to cooperation, that was not without pitfalls, but that mutual interests of Cuban and North American farmers would be served.Share on FB Share on TT