ASA/WISHH’s strategic partnerships stand on a three-legged stool

Op-Ed by WISHH Chairman and Kentucky farmer Gerry Hayden.

The World Initiative for Soy in Human Health’s (WISHH) founding farmer leaders planned for WISHH to work closely with partners when they created WISHH in 2000. I’m proud to say WISHH’s new strategic plan reinforces the important work of cultivating diversified strategic partnerships.

At WISHH, our three-legged stool approach brings together private and public-sector leaders with non-governmental groups. We support the business expansion of WISHH’s entrepreneurial partners. WISHH also works with U.S. and global universities to expand knowledge, transfer skills and, build sustained in-country capabilities.

A great example is the ASA/WISHH-supported Cambodian Aquaculturist Association (CAA). ASA is a 100-year-old trade association so we knew the value that an association could bring to WISHH’s USDA-funded Commercialization of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade (CAST)-Cambodia Project. CAST is supporting the launch of the CAA as a key strategy for CAST’s results to remain effective long after WISHH completes the five-year USDA Food for Progress project that started in 2018.

Founded in September 2020, CAA is growing in numbers, as well as leadership, for the industry. It is working alongside the Cambodian government, which has prioritized aquaculture. CAA’s membership already includes about 400 fish farmers, sellers, wholesalers, feed millers, distributors, and other industry representatives in Cambodia’s growing aquaculture sector.

In Ghana, we partnered with private and public-sector leaders to launch an Egg Secretariat. That office carries out egg nutrition education while our supply chain partners help fill the demand for improved poultry feeds made from quality grains.

There are countless more opportunities to create additional diversified strategic partnerships. WISHH looks forward to building more three-legged stools that connect trade and development across global market systems and improve food security.

This October during World Food Prize, WISHH will host a virtual event focused on strategic partnerships and association development. Stay tuned for details… we hope to have you join us!

WISHH is a program of the American Soybean Association and is funded in part by the United Soybean Board and state soybean board checkoff programs. The cover story of the March-April 2021 issue of Soybean Business profiled WISSH and CAA.

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