U.S. farmer-leaders from the United Soybean Board, American Soybean Association, and ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) recently traveled to Cambodia to talk about aquaculture. U.S. Soy and industry partners sponsored the third International Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition Conference. Gena Perry, executive director of WISHH, says this was a good opportunity to talk about U.S. soy as a solution for food security and global protein needs.
“WISHH is a long-term trade development organization of U.S. soy working in developing and emerging markets to connect development and trade and strengthen agricultural value chains to create long-term demand for U.S. soy. Part of this trip in Cambodia included a visit to a state checkoff-funded in-pond raceway system that is being used to promote aquaculture and further U.S. soybeans in the diets of fish. United Soybean Board is also helping us in the expansion and adoption of this system in Cambodia.”
Helping Cambodia establish a sustainable aquaculture industry is good for Cambodians and represents more export opportunities in the years ahead for U.S. soy.
“U.S. soybean farmers are also seeing the progress of WISHH’s CAST project. The CAST project, which stands for the Commercialization of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade is a USDA Food for Progress Project that is designed to accelerate the production of high-demand fish species for the Cambodian market. CAST partners with Kansas State, Auburn University, as well as Cambodian Universities, non-governmental organizations, and the Cambodian government to develop a lasting aquaculture industry and promote Cambodian-raised fish. This project is just one example of how WISHH works to develop and expand new markets for U.S. soybean meal.”
Gerry Hayden of Kentucky is a soybean farmer and the chair of the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health. He says the progress between his first trip to Cambodia and this overseas venture is remarkable.
“It is amazing to see the progress that the aquaculture and feed industry, as well as our staff, have accomplished. One example of this progress is that we returned to visit one of Cambodia’s largest feed mills. They are a customer of U.S. soybean meal. When we visited in 2020, they had just installed the first production line to manufacture aquaculture feeds. Last week, we saw their multimillion-dollar feed mill expansion that will support livestock feed production.”
American Soybean Association President Brad Doyle also made the trip and says they spent time sharing their experiences with Cambodian farmers.
“While we were here, we were able to share our experiences with the new Cambodian Aquaculture Association and the livestock raisers association. We had some roundtables set up; we had some great discussions and a lot of feedback. As they are a fairly new association, we had a lot to share with them. I must say it’s pretty exciting and interesting to see and meet the many strategic partners that are here in the country of Cambodia.”
U.S. Soy and industry partners met with researchers, industry professionals, and students to discuss increasing opportunities for sustainable agriculture, and increasing nutritional value while fueling economic growth.