Feb 22, 2021
WISHH and its strategic partners faced unprecedented challenges to connect trade and development across global market systems in 2020. Despite COVID-19, travel bans, and Cambodia’s floods, WISHH worked to build market systems that can meet the rising demand for protein required for nutritious and affordable human foods and animal feeds in in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
“We even achieved some new milestones in our activities,” says WISHH Chairman Gerry Hayden, a Kentucky soybean grower. “WISHH reached 22 countries that are either developing or emerging markets.”
“For the seventh year in a row, WISHH leveraged every $1 of QSSB funding it received into $6 of outside funding to support the use of soy in animal or human feeds,” adds Hayden. “We thank the 23 QSSBs that supported our work, as well as USB. WISHH also benefited from U.S. Department of Agriculture and other outside funding.”
Cambodian aquaculture leaders witnessed the benefits of soy-based feed in Cambodia’s first in-pond raceway technology that WISHH demonstrated with support of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. The hatchery owners report they had never seen red tilapia grow as quickly as the ones in the raceway. Photo Credit: Jim Hershey
In Asia, Cambodia’s COVID-19 economic recvery priorities elevated WISHH’s USDA-funded Commercialization of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade (CAST) Cambodia project as a valuable partner. The government prioritized farm-raised fish as a protein-rich food for the health of Cambodia’s growing population and repeatedly included CAST in its initiatives. CAST also launched a new aquaculture association in September, and its membership already reached 200 fish farmers, feed manufacturers and distributors, as well as other aquaculture industry representatives. The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and more than 100 other key Cambodian aquaculture leaders witnessed the benefits of soy-based feed in Cambodia’s first in-pond raceway technology that WISHH demonstrated with support from the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. The hatchery owners report they had never seen red tilapia grow as quickly as the ones in the raceway.
In Latin America, WISHH and key food and beverage manufacturers did not let COVID-19 stop progress toward opportunities identified in WISHH’s 2019 USDA Agricultural Trade Promotion-funded market assessment. WISHH’s 2019 surveys revealed that nearly half of Central American and Dominican Republic key food and beverage manufacturing executives would invest their own capital into equipment and expand their businesses if WISHH could provide them with technical assistance/training and outline the cost benefits of incorporating soy protein ingredients. Early 2020 work concentrated on expanding the regional key account database, adding 58 mid-to-large food and beverage manufacturers that acknowledged their interest in developing new products or line extensions that contained soy protein ingredients. When COVID-19 restrictions blocked travel and more, WISHH launched virtual technical assistance, supporting three times the number of companies typically served using the in-person training approach.
In Africa, WISHH made progress on its strategy to improve local fish feed production and processing in Africa by having strategic partners from four African countries trained virtually on improved feed production. WISHH’s evaluation team transitioned an in-person household survey to the phones to complete WISHH’s 2020 egg consumption survey in Ghana as part of the USDA-funded AMPLIFIES project. As demand for eggs grows, demand rises for soy as an important poultry feed ingredient. WISHH’s prior years of trainings, as well as 2020 virtual support, helped strategic partners in Ghana and Uganda to adapt and even maintain production levels for soyfoods or feeds.