The breeding hatchery has created massive hopes for expanding freshwater shrimp farming commercially in Rajshahi region, providing healthy hatchlings among the farmers, reports BSS.
For the first time, the state-owned hatchery produced around three lakh post-larvae and supplied those among the farmers in different districts under Rajshahi division last year successfully.
“We’re producing post-larvae and larvae in the hatchery and supplying those among the farmers for the second consecutive time this year,” said Dr Jinnat Ara Rokeya Chowdhury, manager of Fish Seed Multiplication Farm.
She said brine water was collected from the coastal belt in Cox’s Bazar in February last while 100 brood shrimps were collected in two phases from the Kocha River in Pirojpur district in April last. Subsequently, those were disinfected and nursed in brine water.
During the entire nursing period, bio-security is being maintained strictly as it’s very important for post-larvae production from the larval stage.
Vice-Chancellor-in-Charge of Rajshahi University (RU) Prof Ananda Kumar Saha visited the hatchery to see the larvae and post-larvae producing activities on Monday afternoon.
He said the prospect of freshwater shrimp farming in a mixed culture method with some major carp fishes commercially is very bright in the region.
“We’re seeing a glittering prospect of shrimp farming with some major carps like Rui, katla and silver carp in the region,” said Prof Shaha, a senior-most teacher in the Department of Zoology of RU. He clarified that both water and soil quality in the region including major parts of the Barind tract is suitable for prawn farming and that it will surely bring a diversity in the fish farming process.
There are enormous prospects of boosting farmers’ income, employment generation, poverty reduction and protein security through cherished expansion of shrimp farming in the region, Dr Saha added.
Dr Jinnat Ara Rokeya Chowdhury told BSS that fluctuation of temperature, bio-security, water hardness and disruption of power supply are the major challenges to substantial reduction of mortality rate.
Continuously, post larva will be produced here though bringing parents from the saline rivers every breeding season. Farmers can purchase healthy and quality hatchlings from here at a reasonable price. As a whole, the hatchery will contribute a lot towards fulfilling the farmers demand.
She expected that an adequate number of healthy post-larvae could be supplied to the farmers through facing the existing challenges within the next couple of years.
Shahidul Islam, a shrimp farmer of Kornoher village under Paba upazila, said he collects post-larvae from the hatchery and many farmers collect juvenile prawn from him. Within six months, each of those weights becomes 120 to 125 grams. In local markets, prawn is now being sold at Taka 700 to 750 per kilogram, he revealed.
Another farmer Shafiul Alam said commercial shrimp farming is gaining popularity with the breakthrough of introducing larvae and post-larvae production in Rajshahi.
Earlier, the Department of Fisheries (DoF) had constructed the modern prawn breeding hatchery at the compound of 3.29-hectare Fish Seed Multiplication Farm in the 2016-17 fiscal year at a cost of around Taka 74.96 lakh.
The aim of construction of the modern prawn breeding hatchery was to make the farming more popular through removing the existing spawn scarcity.
Divisional Deputy Director Tofaz Uddin said the DoF is intended to expand prawn farming in freshwater bodies through providing updated technologies to the grassroots farmers.
Demands of hatchlings and fingerlings will be met through successful implementation of various need-based programmes.
In addition to farmers’ motivation, the department has set up projection ponds among the farmers.
The farmers should cultivate shrimp using modern farming methods as it is very profitable, he added.