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.