Louisiana trade mission returns from Cuba optimistic - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Louisiana trade mission returns from Cuba optimistic

LDAF Commmissioner Mike Strain visits grocery store in Cuba (Source: LDAF) LDAF Commmissioner Mike Strain visits grocery store in Cuba (Source: LDAF)
Louisiana trade delegation meets with port officials in Cuba (Source: LDAF) Louisiana trade delegation meets with port officials in Cuba (Source: LDAF)
LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain checks out produce in a Havana farmers' market (Source: LDAF) LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain checks out produce in a Havana farmers' market (Source: LDAF)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) -

A recent Louisiana agricultural trade mission tries to give the state an early foothold in Cuba. 

Agriculture commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. said he led the 94-person delegation to promote agricultural trade, economic development and tourism. 

Strain said Cuba is in great need of products Louisiana can provide. 

"We have a better understanding of what the country's needs are - and how Louisiana can fulfill those needs - by visiting places such as an organic farm, tobacco and corn farm, farmers market, grocery store and the port in Mariel," according to Strain. 

Since Cuba imports 80 percent of its produce, he said, "our products are the highest quality and safest that can be delivered at the most competitive price because of the short distance between Cuba and Louisiana." 

According to Strain, Cuban government officials say the country is in need of more food and supplies.

With the possibility of eased trade restrictions, Strain said, "it is critical to establish these important business relationships now in order to gain access to new market opportunities for our Louisiana agricultural producers."

Strain said he laid the groundwork for future trade agreements by presenting Cuban government officials Memoranda of Understanding for their consideration.  

Strain said he will return to Cuba in October with Governor John Bel Edwards to continue to develop the trade agreements. 

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