December 4, 2018

Featured Commentary: A Fish Story That Connects Trade and Development

This piece was originally posted on Agri-Pulse

By Liz Hare

Editor's Note: Agri-Pulse and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs are teaming up to host a monthly column to explore how the US agriculture and food sector can maintain its competitive edge and advance food security in an increasingly integrated and dynamic world.

American soy farmers know that investment in developing economies today builds US soy’s customers for tomorrow. In the simplest terms, children in Pakistan and elsewhere require nutrients to learn and grow, and people of all ages need sustained access to affordable, nutritious food to contribute productively to local and global communities. Farmers around the world need access to best management practices and resources–such as soy-based extruded fish feed–that enable product commercialization beyond subsistence, and integration into global economies. Trade fills critical gaps in value chains that drive food insecurity–integration in global economies can fuel a healthy and prosperous future for developing markets. In this way, trade improves lives worldwide for both farmers and consumers.

Almost 20 years ago, recognizing a global need for more protein, visionary leaders from ten state soybean boards founded the American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (ASA/WISHH), laying the foundation for US soy trade in emerging markets like Pakistan that need more protein for their growing populations.  We are proud to see the fruits of this vision and share the success of the organization’s initiatives. 

In September 2011, WISHH launched the US Department of Agriculture-funded FEEDing Pakistan project with the goal of reducing the protein gap in Pakistan specifically through improvement of the aquaculture feed value chain. The FEEDing Pakistan project increased the supply and quality of soy-based aquaculture feed, generating opportunities to improve production efficiency and ultimately consumer access to safe, affordable fish protein. Strong support from U.S. land grant universities including Kansas State University, the University of Arizona and Auburn University, in partnership with leading academic institutions in Pakistan, helped generate a class of young leaders committed to aquaculture in Pakistan. Furthermore, public private partnerships developed throughout the life of the project garnered sustained investment and policy commitments necessary to spur sector growth.

 

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The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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