WISHH Perspectives

CAST-Cambodia Aqua Association Gains Traction

A Cambodian woman stands behind a podium with a microphone with banners in the background.
Mary Lep, a business leader and longtime WISHH strategic partner, addresses attendees at the Cambodian Aquaculturist Association’s regional fish and aquaculture business dialogue.

ASA/WISHH’s CAST-Cambodia project continues to lead and strengthen the aquaculture supply chain in Cambodia. CAST and the Cambodian Aquauculturist Association organized a regional fish and aquaculture business dialogue in Battambang province, Cambodia on March 13. More than 150 stakeholders, including fish producers, processors, and community representatives, joined the dialogue to discuss industry challenges and find solutions, focusing on cost reduction. CAA, with 1,200 members, is gaining traction, partly due to funding from new partners, and reducing reliance on external support. Additionally, CAA continues to see strong support from the Cambodian government, which tapped the organization to create an annual aquaculture exhibition, aiming to boost the sector’s growth with initiatives like soy-based fish feeds.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food for Progress program funds the Commercialization of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade (CAST)-Cambodia project. WISHH implements CAST in alignment with the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Strategic Plan for Aquaculture Development. CAST accelerates production of high-demand fish species for the Cambodian market, develops a lasting aquaculture industry and promotes Cambodian-raised fish. WISHH leverages this USDA-funded project with soy checkoff program support of a variety of investments, such as design of custom in-pond raceway systems.

CAST grows demand for soy-based fish feeds, which can increasingly be made with U.S. Soy. CAA is WISHH’s long-term strategy of sustainability in the region, making the aquaculture sector more valuable for U.S. trade. CAA is comprised of fish farmers, sellers, wholesalers, feed millers and distributors, as well as other industry representatives in Cambodia’s growing aquaculture sector. One such business leader, Mary Lep, is a longtime WISHH strategic partner and addressed the attendees in Battambang.

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