Illinois Soybean Growers Join WISHH in Cambodia

Jan 18, 2024

ISA members and staff meet with CAA leaders who are key to the sustained growth of Cambodian aquaculture.

ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health program welcomed farmer leaders and staff from the Illinois Soybean Association to Cambodia this week for updates on WISHH's aquaculture and feed activities. The ISA delegation visited Cambodia from Jan. 17-19, engaging with buyers and users of U.S. soy feeds and observing the growth in aquaculture demand.

During their visit, ISA farmer leaders participated in various activities, witnessing how WISHH maximizes its soy checkoff support through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Commercialization of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade-Cambodia project, led by WISHH. This project aims to accelerate the production of high-demand fish species for the Cambodian market, fostering a sustainable aquaculture industry that recognizes the value of soy protein in feed. Cambodia, home to one of the world's largest freshwater fish-consuming populations, has become a crucial market for implementing WISHH’s global aquaculture strategy. ISA has actively supported successful WISHH trials to train the carnivorous snakehead fish species to consume soy-based feeds, opening new trade potential for U.S. soy. Snakeheads are particularly popular in Cambodia, where the per capita fish consumption exceeds that of any other country.

The group also met with the Cambodian Aquaculturist Association, which boasts nearly 1,000 members, including fish farmers, distributors, feed millers, and industry partners. Association development plays a vital role in WISHH’s CAST-Cambodia project, leaving sustainable infrastructure in the country for viable trade. During a half-day meeting with CAA board members and staff, ISA shared insights into association structure, membership, and funding. The CAA presented its recently updated strategic plan and discussed ongoing collaboration opportunities to achieve their respective and shared goals.