Feb 27 (Granma) India is contributing to Cuba’s agricultural development with a donation of 60 tractors and other farming equipment including rotary and grass cutters, cultivators, trailers and replacement parts.
The donation, valued at around five million USD, was received by Havana’s Agricultural and Livestock Basic Enterprise Unit, affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture’s logistics entity Gelma.
Ydael Pérez Brito, deputy minister of Agriculture, stated that the medium and small size tractors will be used to grow protected and semi-protected crops – a key element to the island’s agricultural development and food sustainability -throughout the country.
Given their size, these vehicles can be used in green houses and covered growing spaces, which will help increase yields of these types of crops, he stated.
Above all, the 60 tractors that were assembled in Cuba by technicians from the Ministry of Agriculture and Indian company Sonalika Tractors, will be used to support the cultivation of protected crops, as well as in areas dedicated to intensive farming.
Indian Ambassador to Cuba, Tsewang Namgyal, noted that the donation is not only a symbol of cooperation between the two countries, but also a way of strengthening economic ties.
Bilateral relations between India, one of the biggest emerging economies in the world, and Cuba, go back a long way and have been strengthened over the years.
India was one of the first countries to recognize the Cuban Revolution and has maintained friendly relations with the Caribbean island ever since.
Every year the country supports the resolution presented by Cuba at the United Nations General Assembly demanding an end to the U.S. blockade of the island.
In 2017, India made three donations to Cuba, including one million USD of medicines, and 150,000 USD to help with recovery efforts following the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma.
India also helped finance the construction of a powdered milk, and mixed fertilizer factory.
Trade between the two nations averaged at about 43,000,000 USD in 2017, while Cuban and Indian authorities have both noted the possibility of expanding such ties in sectors like biotechnology, pharmaceutical products, health and tourism, and particularly health tourism.
During the most recent edition of the Havana International Trade Fair (Fihav, 2017), Cuba and India signed a memorandum of understanding to expand cooperation in the healthcare sector.