WISHH Perspectives

Illinois Soybean Growers Join WISHH in Cambodia

Members of ISA, CAST, and CAA meet with banners bearing each delegation’s respective logos.
Illinois Soybean Association members and staff meet with the Cambodian Aquaculturist Association leaders who are key to the sustained growth of Cambodian aquaculture. With one of the largest freshwater fish-consuming populations in the world, Cambodia is increasingly seen as a reliable market for U.S. soy.

The ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health program welcomed Illinois Soybean Association farmer leaders and staff to Cambodia this week to see updates on WISHH aquaculture and feed activities. ISA came to the Southeast Asian country on January 17-19 to visit buyers and users of U.S. soy feeds as well as see the growth of aquaculture demand.

The delegation participated in multiple activities where they saw how WISHH leverages its soy checkoff support with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Commercialization of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade-Cambodia project, which WISHH leads.  CAST accelerates production of high-demand fish species for the Cambodian market and develops a lasting aquaculture industry that recognizes the value of soy protein in feed. Cambodia, one of the largest freshwater fish-consuming populations in the world and has become an important market for implementing WISHH’s global aquaculture strategy. ISA has supported successful WISHH trials to train the carnivorous snakehead fish species to eat soy-based feeds, which creates new trade potential for U.S. soy. Snakeheads are one of the most popular fish to eat in Cambodia where its people eat more fish per capita than in any other country in the world.

The group also met with the Cambodian Aquaculturist Association. CAA is an association with nearly 1,000 members, ranging from fish farmers and distributors to feed millers and industry partners. Association development is key to WISHH’s CAST-Cambodia project as it leaves sustainable infrastructure in the country for viable trade. In a half day meeting with CAA board members and staff, the ISA shared insights into association structure, membership, and funding. The CAA presented its recently updated strategic plan and discussed how the two associations can continue to collaborate to meet their respective and shared goals.

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