Market News & Headlines >> Historic Agreements for U.S.-Cuba Agriculture Sectors Announced

While in Cuba with President Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Monday that USDA will allow the 22 industry-funded Research and Promotion Programs and 18 Marketing Order organizations to conduct authorized research and information exchange activities with Cuba. 

During a bilateral meeting on Monday, Secretary Vilsack and Cuban Minster of Agriculture Gustavo Rodriguez Rollero signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a framework for sharing ideas and research between the two countries. 

The Research and Promotion Programs, which include the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board, the National Pork Board and the United Soybean Board, allow various commodity industries to pool resources to develop new markets around the world, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. Secretary Vilsack called the announcement "a significant step forward in strengthening our bond and broadening agricultural trade between the United States and Cuba." 

USDA will review all proposed Research and Promotion Board and Marketing Order activities related to Cuba to ensure that they are consistent with existing laws. 

Secretary Vilsack also has invited Minister Rodriguez to join on a visit to one of USDA's Climate Sub Hubs in Puerto Rico in late May, where USDA researchers are studying the effects of climate change in the subtropical region and strategies for mitigating these effects. 

The visit to the Puerto Rico Sub Hub would allow USDA and Cuba's Ministry of Agriculture to exchange information on climate change as it relates to tropical forestry and agriculture, and explore opportunities for collaboration. The Puerto Rico hub is part of the USDA Regional Climate Hub network that supports applied research and provides information to farmers, ranchers, advisors, and managers to inform climate-related decision making.