Nov. 9, 2006
FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswick is continuing its 80-year history of trade with Cuba, as eight New Brunswick exporters prepare to ship 8,500 tonnes of seed potatoes to that country over the next two weeks.
"Cuba is one of New Brunswick's major offshore seed potato export markets," Agriculture and Aquaculture Minister Ronald Ouellette said. "It's extremely important for our seed potato producers to go out of their way to meet the needs of that market."
In order to strengthen the trade relationship between the province and Cuba, and identify new trade opportunities, representatives from the department, Potatoes New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Seed Potato Export Corporation recently attended the Havana International Trade Show.
In the long term, Cuba is interested in introducing new varieties of potatoes and for that reason, 23 New Brunswick varieties will undergo rigorous evaluation and yield trials in Cuba. Results of these trials will help determine the most suitable potato varieties for climatic and soil conditions in Cuba.
As well, to demonstrate the province's commitment to the Cuban market, the Bon Accord Elite Seed Potato Centre has provided seed for five variety trial locations currently growing in Cuba. The centre has also increased production of the varieties now in demand for Cuba.
Market development activities and variety trials in Cuba are co-ordinated through the Strategic Marketing Partnership Committee of Potatoes New Brunswick.
With exports in excess of $4 million annually, Cuba is the second largest market of New Brunswick seed potatoes after the U.S.
MEDIA CONTACT: Alain Bryar, communications, Agriculture and Aquaculture, 506-444-4218.