U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy met with five women aquaculture entrepreneurs who showed him how they are adopting improved aquaculture practices through ASA/WISHH’s USDA Food for Progress-funded Commercialization of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade (CAST) project. As part of Women’s History Month, the Ambassador discussed challenges to their businesses and efforts to provide safe and nutritious foods to the Cambodian market.
Rathada Fish Farm and Hatchery owner Keo Yada hosted the discussions at her fish farm on March 18. She gave a tour to Ambassador Murphy, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Senior Agricultural Attache Benjamin Petlock, and USDA Agricultural Specialist Sokkea Hoy. The tour featured how she is adopting new aquaculture technologies introduced by ASA/WISHH, including the farm’s first deep well that reached a depth of 260 feet to offer improved water quality. CAST provided matching grants for the well construction.
Ambassador Murphy also offered soy-based feeds to fish in an in-pond raceway that ASA/WISHH introduced to Cambodia with Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council (MSMC) resources that complemented WISHH’s CAST project. MSMC supported WISHH technical assistance in the planning and construction of Cambodia’s first in-pond raceway aquaculture system in 2020. WISHH selected Rathada for the demonstration that has allowed additional fish farmers to witness the benefits of in-pond raceways and soy-based feeds.
CAST is designed to accelerate production of high-demand fish species for the Cambodian market and develop a lasting aquaculture industry that recognizes the value of soy protein in feed.