U.S. soybean growers celebrated a milestone while in Cambodia earlier this month.
The American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health’s Southeast Asia trade team joined a ribbon cutting for Cambodia’s first in-pond raceway aquaculture system, an important innovation for the sustainable increase of fish production in the region, during WISHH's 2020 U.S.-Cambodia Soy Trading Conference.
USDA funds supported the Jan. 12-20 travel for 13 soybean leaders to have face-to-face discussions with WISHH's many contacts in the human food and livestock feed industries.
“We came to make personal connections with our current and future customers for U.S. soy. By visiting Cambodia and Myanmar, we hope we demonstrated how much we care about these emerging markets and our customers’ success using U.S. soy,” said WISHH Program Committee Chair Daryl Cates, an Illinois soybean grower.
Four key points
U.S. soybean growers delivered four key messages while there, Cates said.
“First, we stressed that U.S. soy is high-quality protein. Second, we shared with these emerging market leaders that the United States is a reliable supplier of sustainable soy to meet their protein needs,” he said. “Third, we emphasized that U.S. soy is delivered in containers, bags and really however they want it. Finally, we reinforced the message to Cambodia and Myanmar’s food and feed leaders that we will help them maximize the value of U.S. soy through WISHH’s multi-faceted technical assistance.”
The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council supported WISHH technical assistance in the planning and construction of Cambodia’s first in-pond raceway aquaculture system, which is a channel for continuous flow of water to grow fish at the Rathada Farms Hatchery. The family-owned business breeds tilapia and catfish. Rathada raises the fish through the “seed” and fry stages before selling fingerlings to fish producers in the region.
“Our Missouri farmers’ soybean checkoff dollars were vital to WISHH’s work with Rathada on the new raceway,” said David Lueck, a WISHH Program Committee member and a past MSMC chairman. “Furthermore, WISHH leveraged our investment by integrating Rathada’s strengthened fish-production capacity into WISHH’s USDA-funded Commercialization of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade (CAST) – Cambodia project.”
CAST is a USDA Food for Progress project designed to develop a lasting aquaculture industry in Cambodia. Cambodia’s GDP has increased by more than 7% per year since 2011, growing the demand for animal and aquaculture-sourced protein. The country’s aquaculture industry demand for soybean protein is projected to reach 100,000 metric tons per year by 2030.
ASA/WISHH connects trade and development across global market systems, improving food security. U.S. soybean growers founded WISHH in 2000 to serve as a catalyst in emerging markets.