The ASA/WISHH-supported Cambodian Aquaculturist Association’s (CAA) membership continues to grow in numbers as well as leadership for the industry. CAA’s ranks now include 318 fish farmers, sellers, wholesalers, feed millers and distributors, as well as other industry representatives in Cambodia’s growing aquaculture sector.
Founded in September 2020, the young association also continues to demonstrate its leadership in corporate social responsibility that benefits Cambodian aquaculture. In April, the CAA responded to Cambodia’s Fisheries Administration by donating 50,000 face masks to farmers in Kampong Cham and Tboung Khmum provinces to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Kampong Cham is one of the provinces targeted by ASA/WISHH’s Commercialization of Aquaculture for Sustainability Trade (CAST)-Cambodia Project. CAST is supporting the launch of the CAA as a key strategy for CAST’s results to remain effective long after WISHH completes the five-year U.S. Department of Agriculture Food for Progress project that started in 2018.
Farmers receiving the face masks have responded positively, especially since the masks are helpful for them to continue to conduct business and travel. The face mask donation is CAA’s second social responsibility initiative. In response to damaging floods in October 2020, CAA board members came together to provide financial support, both from CAA and as individuals.
CAA continues to develop based on ASA recommendations as well as the Association Toolkit prepared by Ag Management Solutions. The CAA board is working on its first strategic plan and has formed four committees: Communications, Policy, Budget/Finance and Administration/Governance.
While the pandemic has slowed CAA’s growth, many farmers are interested. More farmers plan to join when CAA can hold face-to-face meetings and collect membership forms.
Photo caption: From Left to Right: CAST Association Development Team Members Phirum Chet and Van Nath meet representatives of Cambodia’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. CAA demonstrated its leadership by donating 50,000 faces masks for fish farmers to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.