CAST Project Officially Launched
AKP Phnom Penh, January 31, 2019 —
The five-year Commercialisation of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade (CAST) was launched here this afternoon to increase the growth and development of freshwater aquaculture in six Cambodian provinces – Kandal, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Battambang, Pursat and Kampong Cham.
The launching ceremony was presided over by Cambodian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries H.E. Veng Sakhon and Mr. Michael E. Newbill, Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy, with visiting Ms. Megan Francic, Representative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Mr. Jim Hershey, Project Director of CAST Cambodia, representatives of civil society organisations and senior officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in attendance.
In his opening remarks, H.E. Veng Sakhon thanked the U.S. Government for its contribution to the economic development of Cambodia. This project reflects the U.S.’ stance to support the Royal Government of Cambodia’s policy, he stressed.
Mr. Michael E. Newbill underlined the importance of CAST Project, adding that it will also contribute to promoting the trade relations between the two countries.
According to a joint press release, the over-US$17-million CAST Project, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food for Progress programme, aligns with the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Strategic Plan for Aquaculture Development.
It will promote increased access to “seed” fish and feed, and will strengthen all links in the value chain, from hatcheries to fish producers and buyers and distributors.
Cambodia will benefit from increased confidence and access to high-quality fish grown in Cambodia, produced and handled with proper standard. In addition, the national economy will benefit as Cambodia joins a global market as a consumer and supplier of locally raised, high-quality freshwater aquaculture products.
By C. Nika