Saturday, January 3, 2009

CUBA IMPORTS 70% OF THEIR FOOD? Is there a market for Western Belize Producers?

IS THERE A FOOD MARKET FOR WESTERN BELIZE PRODUCERS IN CUBA?

On television tonight there was mention; that CUBA imports 70% of their food that they consume. Which beggars the question, is there a market in Cuba for Belize food exports? Obviously if CUBA are importing food and the television shows they are importing fresh vegetables like lettuce as well, they must be paying money for it somehow? The average Cuban family lives too cheap to live off imported food, but one could suppose they are importing for their growing tourist economy?
Jamaica has a market, but usually cannot find the foreign exchange to pay for it. One would think that Cuba is in the same boat? However, in the past year, it has been mentioned that President Chavez of Venezuela has been underwriting and paying for much of Cuba’s foreign exchange needs. How true that is we do not know?
As a dollar currency, Belize really needs USA dollars, not Euro’s but I suppose if push came to shove and you charged extra for the exchange differential fees, you could take Euros? There is a problem with Euros because they float against the dollar and our Belize money is fixed as an exchange rate to the US dollar. So, for us in Belize getting paid in USA dollars would be more advantageous.
Presuming you could get paid for any exports to Cuba, who do you sell to in Socialist Cuba? Obviously there is little in the way of middle men expediters/ importers and you would have to deal with some sort of Government agency? It does look like there is a trade possibility between both Cuba and Venezuela with Belize? Somewhat difficult to get to and arrange though and get paid also. The last time we wrote an article on Cuba, which was to do with home grown gardens fertilization organically, the Cabinet Minister of the day in Belize went to investigate. We never heard any more of it in the private sector. This being a political vacation type junket, which for practical information purposes was worthless for the private sector here in the HEARTLAND of Belize. We did not learn anything from a politician going on what is a technical visit. Or should have been? Still, I’d like to go and see what they are importing in food, the quantities and the mechanics of how it is done, so US the PRIVATE SECTOR could see how we the could tap into this market. I hear by the rumor mill, they are importing from the USA?
How to ship from Belize to Cuba? That is another question, but a small freighter in the 200 ton class should do real well as a private venture out of Belize to Cuba? It would have to be steel hull, or fiberglass and a low rpm diesel engine, high torque propeller. This to make it efficient and cost effective. One would guess a reefer cargo container would work well for fresh vegetables, or meat. It is not a long run to Cuba and wouldn’t take more than two days over there. With the right type of boat low rpm engine, probably would consume 400 gallons of diesel, round trip?
Another interesting item on the television news, was the fact that 80,000 small CUBAN farmers have been approved to lease land in Cuba and go into private farming for profit during 2009. The State run large farm Cuban system, copied from Russia and Eastern European countries has failed to supply the food needs of Cubans. No surprise there. The system ignores pragmatic human nature needs. Venezuela is currently alleged to be moving to the State large farm of the 1950’s to the 1980’s in Eastern Europe model. Obviously a mistake, since the Eastern Europeans found it did not work back in the middle 80’s. Cuba is now finding it does not work in 2008 period while reviewing there 50 years of socialism, but Venezuela a new Socialist State is just allegedly going into what has been proven a failed system of Large State run farms. That state system does not work, because farming is not a bureaucratic job and in fact, requires a lot of self sacrifice on a seasonal basis and this can only be done on a personal private for profit basis, by individuals working for themselves. The incentive is profit which can be turned into a more better materialistic living standard. Personal profit is a BAD WORD to socialists who are trying to re-invent the wheel and make everybody equally poor, with equal working office hours, except the ruling party bosses. A sort of feudal aristocracy, class system, using different names.
The question remains: IS THERE A MARKET FOR BELIZEAN PRODUCERS OF FOOD TO CUBA? Obviously there is, but how big? IF SO, HOW DO YOU GET PAID? CUBA IS IMPORTING FRESH VEGETABLES AMONG OTHER THINGS FOR THEIR TOURIST TRADE , RUMORED TO BE 2.5 MILLON PERSONS A YEAR.

1 comment:

Cuba Verdad said...

Actually Cuba imports 80% of it's food.

From the WFP:

In Cuba, which imports 80 percent of its food, iron-deficiency anaemia is the commonest nutritional disorder: recent studies by the Institute of Nutrition and Food Hygiene show that anaemia prevalence in the eastern region is 56.7 percent among children under 2 and 20.1 percent in children aged 2–5.

Support for the National Plan on Prevention and Control of Anaemia in the Five Eastern Provinces of Cuba | WFP | United Nations World Food Programme - Fighting Hunger Worldwide

http://www.wfp.org/content/support-national-plan-prevention-and-control-anaemia-five-eastern-provinces-cuba

Agri-Food
Past, Present & Future Report
Cuba
March 2009

Although Cuba's agriculture sector has traditionally been vital to the
economy with such notable products as sugar, tobacco, citrus products,
and tropical fruits, it now imports approximately 80-85% of its
foodstuff requirements. In 1960, roughly 87% of Cuba's rural population
was engaged in agriculture production, and while about 66% of the
population is still engaged in agriculture, the sector lacks the
technology and investment needed to significantly modernize production.
Between the years 2000 and 2006 Cuba's agricultural imports almost
doubled. An estimated 15% of Cuba's total imports are agricultural.

http://www.ats.agr.gc.ca/latin/4678-eng.htm

The island imports 80% of its food, at a cost of $2.5 billion, and its
huge trade deficit has soared this year by 70% to more than $11
billion, according to official figures out this week. That is only
partly covered by the $7.8 billion Cuba receives for "export services"=97
doctors and sports trainers sent to Venezuela in exchange for oil.
http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=3D12851246