The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research and Sustainable Intensification (SIIL) at Kansas State University, in partnership with the American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health, officially launched the Commercialization of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade Cambodia project (CAST), which is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture Food for Progress program. CAST was awarded $17.1 million for five years in six key regions, making it possible for Cambodia’s private sector and universities to work closely with U.S. soybean growers and businesses, as well as academic and non-governmental organizations.
The project will connect trade and development by accelerating the production of high-demand fish species for the Cambodian market and developing a lasting aquaculture industry that recognizes the value of soybean protein in feed. The partnership will work to increase the productivity of aquaculture farms in six provinces around the country by providing training to increase the quality of and access to resources and markets, as well as promoting policies that will better support aquaculture farmers and their needs.
Cambodian Minister of Agriculture, Veng Sakhon, expressed his appreciation for this collaborative partnership with U.S. institutions, the USDA, and the United States Agency for International Development, which funds SIIL. He said these types of projects promote economic stability and help to improve the livelihoods of Cambodians, while building people’s confidence and trust by promoting agricultural health.
Promoting food and nutrition security both at home and abroad is important to Kansas State University, said Ernie Minton, interim dean of the College of Agriculture and interim director of K-State Research and Extension. “Anytime the university can participate in improving the lives of farmers and increasing the capacity of the agricultural sector, we are fulfilling our role as a world-class university and research institution.”