Cuban minister's US visit to highlight organic crops cooperation

Updated: 2016-06-01 09:26


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HAVANA - Cuban Minister of Agriculture will lead a delegation to the US to enhance cooperation between the two countries, a foreign ministry statement said on Tuesday.

According to a press release by the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Gustavo Rodriguez will visit Washington from June 1-3 and will hold meetings with his US counterpart Thomas Vilsack, and other officials from the departments of agriculture and commerce, as well as organizations that support Havana's demand for a complete lifting of the US economic embargo.

The Cuban delegation will also visit the state of Iowa to tour agricultural research centers and farms, accompanied by Vilsack and other senior US officials.

"The visit will enhance cooperation in areas expanding from organic food production to scientific exchanges as the two countries have agreed last March," said the press release.

The accord also allows both nations to deepen cooperation in other agricultural areas.

The Cuban delegation will be composed of government officials from the ministries of agriculture, science and technology, and foreign affairs, said the statement.

Vilsack visited Cuba in November 2015 and reiterated Washington's interest in cooperating with the island in various fields, particularly organic crops and biotechnology research for agriculture.

The US Secretary of Agriculture also confirmed his nation's will to increase food sales to Havana and create favorable conditions for bilateral commerce, which is still hampered by the ongoing blockade.

This will be the second high-level Cuban delegation to visit the US this year after the Minister of Foreign Investment Rodrigo Malmierca paid a visit to Washington in February.