Cuba and Vietnam have reinforced agricultural ties through the continuation of a program to develop grains of a high quality and adaptable to challenges posed by climate change.

During a recent visit to Cuba, accompanied by a large governmental, business and agriculture sector delegation, Vietnamese president, Truong Tan Sang, toured productive areas where such bilateral collaboration is strengthening Cuba’s food security.

Cuba and Vietnam have reinforced agricultural ties through the continuation of a program to develop grains of a high quality and adaptable to challenges posed by climate change.Led by Cao Duc Phat, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, the visitors appreciated advances achieved by the Agro-industrial Grain Enterprise of Matanzas, one of the areas to benefit from commercial exchanges that both enhance efficiency and increase profitability.

During the event there was an exchange of experiences with leading producers and Vietnamese consultants who work in the Matanzas municipality of Calimete, under the terms of a bilateral agreement signed in 2002.

The purpose of that accord, covering almost all Cuban provinces, is to substitute rice imports and increase yields to more than 5 tons per hectare, through the sustainable and efficient management of resources and technology use.

With a 450,300 ton decrease in imports, it is in rice production that the results of the links can best be verified and which give an impetus to present negotiations on soya and corn cultivation.

Cuban and Vietnamese representatives also evaluated work projection related topics for the coming years which encompassed the training of personnel, technology transfers and the supply of equipment and work systems for rice, bean, corn and coffee production.

Within the parameters of the Cuba-Vietnam bilateral agricultural collaboration program, the first stage of the Corn and Legumes Cooperation Development Project commenced in the Mayabeque and Matanzas provinces in 2009, resulting in higher yields and better varieties.

Daysbel Toledo Díaz, an expert from the Ministry for Agriculture’s Grain Research Institute said that in 2014 this led to the start of a second stage that should last until 2017 to boost peanut and black bean cultivation.

Arising from a need to broaden the species base, Cuban experts are presently being trained in Vietnam and working on legume (bean, peanut, soya and corn) cultivation in institutions dedicated to their genetic improvement.

These bilateral exchanges also strengthen germplasms (materials preserved as seed, tissue culture or plants established in field collections). Certain varieties are brought to Vietnam and Cuba in turn imports others from the Indo-Chinese nation.

There are six types of high yield, short cycle Vietnamese soya available to Cuba, all different to those the Caribbean nation presently cultivates.

Even though the results of this experience may not be evident in the short term, Toledo confirmed that increased productions of corn and bean are resulting in Cuba.

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