In a bid to combat food loss and waste in Cambodia's burgeoning pangasius catfish industry, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) has thrown its weight behind a groundbreaking research initiative.
The valuable insights gleaned from this study stand to greatly benefit catfish farmers, private businesses and potentially boost the country's future fish exports to global markets.
In a July 28 social media post, the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh brought attention to the project. It said the research team, comprised of experts from the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) and the Health and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (HAPRI), had recently made an exploratory trip to Cambodia. The primary aim of the visit was to accumulate detailed information about food loss and waste along the catfish value chain.
Engaging with a diverse array of industry participants, the team held extensive discussions with farmers, fish traders and local authorities from the Tonle Sap River floating markets and the fish hatchery. These conversations were instrumental in gaining a comprehensive understanding of the prevailing challenges associated with waste and loss in the pangasius catfish value chain.
The post went on to elucidate that this project forms a crucial part of the wider ACIAR Food Loss Research Programme.
The ambitious programme seeks to establish partnerships with stakeholders in developing countries, including Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
Its paramount objective is to counter food loss in the Mekong catfish value chain by fostering innovative, locally driven solutions. Through such collaborative endeavours, the programme aims to radically improve the regional catfish industry, boosting productivity and sustainability.