Nebraska will send grains, meats, other food to Cuba
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
By Olga R. Rodriquez
The Associated Press
HAVANA – Cuba agreed yesterday to buy another $30 million in food from
Nebraska, strengthening trade relations with a U.S. farm state already
selling corn, wheat, soybeans and other products to the communist island.
Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy and Agriculture Director Greg Ibach led
the trade delegation, which included meat and other agriculture
producers on the four-day trip.
In August, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman visited Cuba and signed a
separate deal to export $30 million in agricultural products in an
18-month period. Most of those deals have since been completed, said
Pedro Alvarez, head of the Cuban food import firm Alimport.
“We’ve had a great commerce experience with Nebraska and this shows the
desire of many (U.S.) states to work for free trade with the United
States,” Alvarez told The Associated Press at Havana’s historic Hotel
Nacional during a breakfast hosted by Farmland Foods Inc. featuring
Nebraska pork and other meat products.
Sheehy said the new deal will include the export of pork, cattle,
poultry, wheat, corn, soybeans, dry beans and dairy in the next 18 months.
“Agriculture is the No. 1 industry in the state and Gov. Heineman saw an
opportunity in Cuba to expand our market,” Sheehy said.
Alvarez said the new trade deal includes a $2.8 million meat purchase
from Farmland Foods Inc.