ASA: 5 Big Reasons Why WISHH’s Work Matters Right Now

Aug 12, 2020

St. Louis. Aug. 12, 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic makes 2020 a year of unprecedented challenges in global food supply chains. Even so, big trends in five new reports demonstrate the untapped potential that the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) program is helping capture for U.S. soybean growers to fill protein gaps in emerging and developing markets.

“WISHH connects trade and development across global market systems, improving food security,” says Gerry Hayden, a Kentucky soybean grower who serves as an ASA director and is incoming WISHH chair. “Our long-term work is more important than ever for U.S. soybean growers, as well as WISHH strategic partners, in emerging and developing economies in Asia, Africa and Central America.”

Here are five timely reasons why WISHH’s work truly matters:

#1 – Trade access during COVID-19 is critical and is repeatedly emphasized by global leaders, including the United Nations’ (U.N.) Call for Immediate Action issued in June. Priority Action 1.2 declares food production, marketing, and distribution as essential services everywhere to keep trade corridors open and ensure the continuous functioning of the critical aspects of food systems in all countries.

WISHH connects trade and development across global market systems, improving food security.

#2 – Overall growth in the volume of meat consumption in developing countries is expected to rise at approximately five times that of developed countries, according to the Agricultural Outlook 2020-2029.

Released July 13, the joint report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations also finds growth in feed consumption is mainly due to the ongoing expansion of livestock herds and aquaculture production in low and middle-income countries.

From Africa to Asia, WISHH is implementing programs that are assisting feed, livestock, poultry, and aquaculture entrepreneurs in developing lasting market systems required for high-quality protein production.

#3 – Global efforts are not on track to meet the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, including SDG No. 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. To address the challenge, the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020 report recognized the importance of accelerating the production of healthy protein-rich foods.

Together with its strategic partners, WISHH builds sustained businesses that manufacture nutritious and affordable soy-based foods, ranging from tofu in Myanmar to soy-based beverages and other grab-and-go foods in Africa and Central America.

#4 – The UK-based Chatham House Royal Institute’s Business Case for Investment in Nutrition finds governments, businesses and financial groups are increasingly mobilizing to counter economic impacts of poor nutrition. The July 2020 report finds businesses in low and middle-income countries collectively lose between $130 billion and $850 billion a year through reduced workforce productivity.

Local business leaders, governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as academic institutions, join WISHH in increasing demand and fueling economic growth for the sustained availability of nutritious and affordable human foods and livestock feeds.

#5 – Citing a 527% rise in global aquaculture production from 1990 to 2018, a new report affirms the trends driving WISHH’s work in aquaculture, including aqua feeds, in emerging and developing markets. The FAO State of the World’s Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) 2020 report states, “The priority should be to further develop aquaculture in Africa and in other regions where population growth will challenge food systems most.”

WISHH has an extensive track record in aquaculture that began in 2011 with the USDA-funded FEEDing Pakistan project, based on WISHH identifying aquaculture as an opportunity to reduce Pakistan’s protein gap. Currently, WISHH leads the USDA-funded Commercialization of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade (CAST) – Cambodia project and is working with African aquaculture entrepreneurs, as well.

About WISHH: ASA/WISHH connects trade and development across global market systems, improving food security. Knowing that protein plays an essential role in human nutrition, visionary U.S. soybean growers founded WISHH in 2000 to serve as a catalyst in emerging markets. WISHH brings the power of strategic partnerships to a unique market-systems approach.