September 22, 2021


USDA to back aquaculture development project in Cambodia



The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will fund a major aquaculture development project in Cambodia as part of the US government's international food security support programme called the Commercialisation of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade (CAST).


CAST is a project that will accelerate the production of high-demand fish species for the Cambodian market and promote Cambodian-raised fish. It will strengthen local production of high quality fish food and build a profitable market system for aquaculture products.


Through CAST, Cambodia's private sector and universities will work closely with US soybean growers and businesses as well as academic institutions and non-governmental organisations.


On September 20, the American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) in Cambodia held a webinar on several topics. James Hershey, chief of party of CAST, said: "One of the main focuses will be on the teaching of the 600 commercial fish farmers selected to transport the fish safely: for example, not (transporting) fish at mid-day and, if you have to, transport them in shade. We have already provided a 50-page manual to these fish farmers as a guideline to follow.


"CAST will also support everyone from the fish collectors, wholesalers, processors and the hotel/restaurant/cafe (sectors)."


The agricultural sector in Cambodia accounts for 22% of its gross domestic product (GDP) and employs three million people.


Anthony Galliano, president of Amcham, told Khmer Times: "The importance and the growth potential of the United States and Cambodian bilateral trade relationship at times is not given recognition and prominence. The United States is the second largest importer of agricultural products by country and can be a huge opportunity for the kingdom. I am very proud of the CAST Project, which is US- government funded to the tune of US$17 million, targeted at the growth and development of freshwater aquaculture."


- Khmer Times