Cuban exports of citrus, juices, and concentrates would improve if the island were not subjected to a blockade that prevented international merchant ships calling at US ports after visiting Cuba.
This unfair measure forces exporters to ship their produce by air, which increases costs, stated Leonardo Martinez Lopez, Programme Director for small businesses at the Ministry of Agriculture.
He said the carriers couldn’t go directly to their destination ports, which affected the quality of the product being exported, apart from oranges, which were more hardy.
Maritime trade to Europe, the main destination for Cuba’s products, takes almost six months due to the distance.
If there wasn’t a blockade, the island would be able to directly market their fruits to the southern part of the United States, an area that takes longer to harvest its fruit than does Cuba.
Martinez Lopez said the fruit development programme aimed to increase the production areas in the territories and to provide them with small factories to process their fruit.
He also said that Cuba’s current exports were worth around 20 million dollars and that they intended to increase the island’s exports by incorporating avocado mango, pineapple, hot pepper, and persian lime.
Oranges and juice concentrates, as well as charcoal are in high demand internationally, so the country will continue to implement business strategies to multiply their presence in these niche markets.