USA Rice Once Again Participates in the Havana International Fair (FIHAV)

Nov 04, 2016
It's good to be back in Havana
HAVANA, CUBA – This week, USA Rice exhibited at the 34th annual Havana International Fair (FIHAV).  The USA Rice delegation was led by Ernesto Baron and Ana Vettorazzi, USA Rice representatives for the region, and Dr. Michael (MO) Way from Texas A&M.  In addition to meeting with several hundred attendees, USA Rice also held meetings with delegates from ALIMPORT (the Cuban Import Company), the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, and from Grupo Empresarial Agricola-GAD (Agriculture Enterprise Group).

ALIMPORT informed USA Rice that they have always had a good impression of U.S. origin rice quality and would like to once again be able to import from the United States, but that the main barrier to trade remains the lack of ability to negotiate credit terms/financing with U.S. companies.  Currently Cuba imports around 80 percent of their rice from Vietnam, Brazil, and Uruguay.  These purchases enjoy 100 percent credit with terms averaging 120-180 days.

National Institute of Agricultural Sciences representatives discussed current rice production challenges in Cuba and opportunities, and said they are looking forward to developing research and educational programs with U.S. research institutions for the benefit of rice industries in both countries.  Top among the research opportunities they identified were chemical and biological pest/disease management practices and water use.

“We are excited to be a part of the positive steps between Cuba and the U.S.,” said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward.  “We look forward to working with our colleagues Ambassador Cabañas Rodríguez and Minister Counselor Ruben Ramos Arrieta at the Cuban Embassy to continue to develop our positive trade relationship.”