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July 21, 2014


Switching from Extensive To Semi-Intensive Shrimp Farming


Shrimp farms in southwest Bangladesh are rapidly switching from extensive farming to semi-intensive farming.  In 2002, there were only 10 hectares of semi-intensive farms in the region; now there are 1,100.  Farmers stock fewer than 25,000 postlarvae per hectare in traditional, extensive ponds, but in their new semi-intensive ponds, they stock 200,000 per hectare.  Traditional farming was done in lowlands and canals.  Semi-intensive farming requires carefully laid-out ponds on higher ground.  It also requires feeding equipment and diesel pumps, which make the initial investment much greater.  Semi-intensive farming requires and initial investment of $25,000 to $28,000 per hectare and yields 5-6 metric tons of shrimp per hectare, while the extensive ponds require an investment per hectare $1,288, but only produced 300 kilograms per hectare.


According to the Department of Fisheries, Bangladesh has approximately 275,000 hectares of shrimp ponds, mostly in the southwest.  Currently, only about one-fifth of the country’s processing capacity is being used, so processing the increased production from semi-intensive farms will not be a problem.


Md Rezaul Hoque, managing director of Modern Sea Food Industries, Ltd., a shrimp exporter based in the Khulna District of southwestern Bangladesh, recently set up a semi-intensive shrimp farm—Modern Scientific Shrimp Culture, Ltd., in Bagerhat District with an initial investment of $278,000.  Owners of two other processing companies—Achia Seafood and Salam Seafood—have also set up semi-intensive farms.  And the Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association has set-up a semi-intensive shrimp farm near Cox’s Bazar, in southeastern Bangladesh.  In June 2014, it harvested its first crop and got 4.5 tons per hectare.


Md Abdul Malek, a shrimp farmer who switched to semi-intensive farming three years ago, said, “Semi-intensive aquaculture has been growing for the last two years.  New entrepreneurs, having a strong capital base, are coming to invest here.”  So far, 200 farms have switched to semi-intensive shrimp farming.


Prafulla Kumar Sarker, district fisheries officer in Khulna, said the Department of Fisheries encourages farmers to improve their existing farms and “these practices are spreading fast....”


Source: The Daily Star.  New Shrimp Farming System to Boost Yields.  Sohel Parvez.  July 20, 2014.

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