US crop producers, including corn and sorghum, have called for the removal of trade barriers with Cuba. This was said at an event, sponsored by the US Agriculture Coalition for Cuba.
US Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight spoke at the event, offering figures to show how drastically US grain farmers have been affected by remaining Cuba trade restrictions.
The website grains.org reports: "In the marketing year 2015, just $4 million of $160 million worth of corn sold to Cuba was sourced from the United States. An estimated $240 million of additional business was lost by US farmers to Cuba's neighbours because once sales to the island nation are on the books, South American competitors can find efficiencies delivering to others in the region."
Also interesting: US grain industry say Cuba has potential
A few months after the Obama Administration made a splash with the announcement it would seek to normalise trade relations with Cuba, the US grain industry is making moves to seize the opportunity for increased exports there.
Time to move on
Wayne Cleveland, executive director of the Texas Sorghum Producers, also spoke at the conference, outlining work his industry has done to help Cubans learn to feed sorghum. He said education like that provided by the Grains Council, starting with how to create compound feed efficiently, is a first step in building feed and livestock markets that can support the nutritional needs of the Cuban people and meet the demand from consumers who come to the country as tourists. "It's time we move on, do away with trade barriers and open up the market," he said.
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