AGRICULTURE & ANIMAL SCIENCE
The University of Connecticut signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with four Academic institutions from Cuba, namely the Instituto of Ciencia Animal (ICA), Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Agrícolas (INCA), Centro Nacional de Sanidad Agropecuaria (CENSA) and Universidad Agraria de La Habana (UNAH). These are the leading institutions in Cuba tasked by the Cuban Government with performing research, teaching, outreach and service in the field of agriculture. The signing of an MOU between these five institutions opens the possibility for the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resource (CAHNR) to advance educational and collaborative research agendas with leading educational institutions in Cuba. Given the economic situation in Cuba and the need for Cuban institutions to increase their academic and entrepreneurial activities, the Cuban institutions included in the MOU would like to develop collaborations with UConn to help meet their own academic missions. The Cuban institutions under this MOU are actively engaged in research and development activities and they have successfully taken a variety of products to the commercial market. In some cases Cuban production facilities have been established overseas (e.g., Nicaragua) to meet the needs for biological products in Latin-American markets. Considering the above and with the purpose of understanding and learning about the activities performed by these Cuban institutions, CAHNR faculty visited Cuba (January 9th-13th 2017) and interacted with personnel from ICA, INCA, and CENSA. The objectives of CAHNR team were:
- to present an overview of the academic activities performed at the College and in the Departments represented in the team;
- to be informed about the activities performed at the above-mentioned Cuban institutions; and
- to identify common interests for potential academic interactions.
As a result, several areas of potential interest were identified by the participating parties including research and development projects, educational and exchange programs and specific short-term training activities. Those collaborations can be initiated by executing diverse actions in the short-term including teaching, training and research activities. For example, one activity identified and under development is a study abroad course in Cuba allowing UConn students to visit Cuban partner institutions. The course will cover how Cuban society has met agricultural production and food security challenges.
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