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Ag Commissioner Mike Strain in Cuba building bridges for LA export

By Courtney P., WWL News
May 17, 2024
News article

Agricultural leaders are in Havanna [sic] for the U.S. Agricultural Conference and Commissioner for Louisiana, Mike Strain, says the trip could prove fruitful for Louisiana exporters.

"There is a food shortage here, and they will import about 2B dollars in food and resources."

That shortfall has led to an historic easing of tensions between the two countries as the Cuban government has been open to talks that improve relations. The historically Communist country seems to be moving to a more Capitalist framework.

"The farmers have been creating co-ops to pool their resources together in order to get what they need. Although a lot of land is still owned by the government, about 20% of land is now privately or co-op owned."

As for Louisiana growers, Strain says there is already a healthy trade to the island of rice and poultry. However, there could be other opportunities as the farmers there are in need of fertilizer, feed, and pesticides.

The Commissioner goes on to say that it is imperative that the U.S. be the one to help Cuba.

"If we don't step in, we leave room for Russia and China. This is a matter of national security. Anything that happens on this side of the world, per the Monroe Doctrine, is our business. And, agriculture is the greatest form of diplomacy."


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