World Vision Cast and Davane Plc have teamed up on fish monitoring, inspection and quality assurance, aiming to provide consumers with safe and trusted sources of food that are worth the money and minimise health risks, and instil public confidence in local farmers and other market actors.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was penned to this end on November 24 by representatives Tech Kong for World Vision Cast and Chheng Makara for Davane, whose name stands for “Develop Agriculture Value Chain Network for Economic and Environment”.
World Vision Cast’s Kong underlined the importance of setting up fish tracking systems, which he said not only pinpoint the exact sources of the animals and indicate how they are raised, lending a sense of security to consumers, but also enable participating farmers to raise their prices.
“Breeders, processors and sellers will trust each other, and we’ll keep a sharper eye out when we buy goods, especially fish,” he said.
He noted that more than 1,000 fish farmers, 1,500 individual processors and sellers, and 100 cottage industries have been enlisted in World Vision Cast and Davane’s undertaking.
Davane’s Makara said the tracking system would allow consumers to be clearly informed on the provenance of fish and their quality, and that the MoU includes provisions requiring involved farmers to handle their stock properly, in accordance with recognised food-safety techniques and standards.
“The fish in the aforementioned network will all have an attached code … Customers can just use a smart device to scan the QR code on the packaging to get info on the name of the farmer, the physical locations of the farms, and how they [the fish] were raised – what techniques were used, and the like,” he said.
Sok Yorn, vice-president of the Siem Reap province-based the Cambodia Safe Fish, Meat and Vegetables Association, told The Post on November 24 that the association plans to sign an MoU with World Vision Cast and Davane next month to monitor the quality of fish on the market, with a stress on imports from Vietnam and Thailand.
“The association wants to get in on the act… [we] find that some foods, fish for instance, are not yet reliable, especially imports from neighbouring countries,” he said.
The average Cambodian consumes about 63kg of fish per annum, the Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute (IFReDI) reported in 2013.
Fish production in the Kingdom rose from 0.5 million tonnes in 2008 to almost one million in 2018, a 2019 study by the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Centre (SEAFDEC) revealed.
The study found that 59 per cent came from inland capture, 28 per cent from aquaculture and 13 per cent from marine capture.