On March 6, of 2018 the first U.S. food bean shipment through the Quality Samples Program was sent to Cambodia. That shipment has turned into a partnership between Cambodia’s government officials, the American Soybean Association (ASA), and the World Initiative of Soy and Human Health (WISHH).
The partnership has been developed to strengthen soybean trade between the two countries and develop the prosperous aquaculture industry in Cambodia. WISHH aims to connect trade and demand for U.S. soybeans through different sectors in agriculture including pork, poultry, fish and human food.
Ag ties from North Dakota and South Dakota, including Dawn Scheier, the Director of the South Dakota Research and Promotions Council and member of the WISHH committee, were given the opportunity to travel to Cambodia for the launch of the CAST program.
CAST, formally known as the Commercialization of Aquaculture in Sustainable Trade is a five year, USDA funded project meant to advance the production of the high demanding fish market, while improving sustainability with soy. CAST aids in the Cambodian private sector while working alongside the U.S. soybean sector, Universities and non-government organizations.
Scheier says an obvious highlight of the trip was the launch of Cast. Cambodian government officials including the Prime minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon and Charge S’affairer of the U.S. embassy in Cambodia Michael Newbill officiated the event.
The group was able to visit other U.S. funded projects in Cambodia including a check off project sponsored by Kansas dealing with swine and poultry production and the World Fish Center, a fish trial project funded by Missouri.