The ASA’s Commercialization of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade (CAST) Cambodia project, funded by the USDA’s Food for Progress Program, is undertaking some preliminary work in Cambodia. Chief of Party Jim Hershey has been in Cambodia this month talking to stakeholders and eventual partners as this five year project gets underway. CAST Cambodia will work with commercial freshwater aquaculture producers, especially medium to large producers, their “seed and feed” input providers and the wholesale/retail buyers and sellers of fresh fish. Both the government and private sector in Cambodia believe the industry is poised for significant growth, which this project can accelerate. Cambodia imports approximately 50,000 MT of soybeans and meal from the U.S. annually, an amount that should grow as this industry develops.
Jim Hershey and local consultant Sambath Sak visit the Rathada hatchery near Siem Reap. This facility, privately owned, breeds tilapia and catfish, and grows the fish through the “seed” and fry stages, before selling fingerlings to fish producers in the region. Mrs Da and her husband Mr. Ratha show Hershey and Sak an experimental grow out cage configuration.