National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) President and New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte, along with Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Jewel Bronaugh, Connecticut Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Reviczky, and NASDA CEO Dr. Barbara P. Glenn joined newly elected Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel for breakfast this morning on the fringes of his first visit to the US. The breakfast was an opportunity to further advance collaboration and seek to continue NASDA’s longstanding engagement with the Cuban government and people.
“We fully support enhancing agricultural trade and cooperation with Cuba, and believe the current U.S. embargo should be lifted,” said Witte. “Many state agricultural officials have existing relationships in Cuba, and we are here today to forge and enhance new partnerships between NASDA Members and Cuban officials, particularly in agriculture.”
NASDA Members underscored the need for exchanges on biotechnology research and knowledge, as well as cooperation on sanitary and phytosanitary issues.
“Over the past 55 years, Cuba has gone from our 9th largest to our 55th largest agricultural export destination. Knowledge exchanges, streamlined visa laws and regulations to promote trade activities, and a clear and consistent regulatory environment will contribute to a prosperous agricultural trading relationship for American farmers and ranchers with Cuba.”
NASDA represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. NASDA grows and enhances agriculture by forging partnerships and creating consensus to achieve sound policy outcomes between state departments of agriculture, the federal government, and stakeholders.