Commercial farming of freshwater prawn has been gaining popularity in the region by dint of lucrative market price and gradually rising consumers' demands. District Fisheries Officer Subhash Chandra Saha told media that commercial farming of prawn is being expanded in the region gradually in the wake of rising consumers demand and lucrative market price, reports BSS.
"We are getting locally harvested prawn for our business purposes," said Shaheen Ahmed, Manager of Chilies Chinese Restaurant in the city, adding that consumers demand is increasing day by day.
Yousuf Ali, a farmer of Nandipara village under Puthiya Upazila, said he started freshwater prawn farming in 2010 and attained successes in this field too.Yousuf obtained national award in 2015. This year, he has cultivated prawn in 65-decimal pond.
"I collect post-larva at Taka two per piece from fish hatchery in Natore and nurse those in nursing pond. After 40 days, they become juvenile and I sell those at Taka 22 to 25 per piece to the local farmers who cultivate those in carp fish farming pond," said the successful farmer.
Another spawn farmer of Kornoher village under Paba Upazila, Shahidul Islam, said 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.
Talking to BSS, farmer Shafiul Alam said prawn farming is gaining popularity but supply of spawn is inadequate.
Government patronization is needed in this regard for furthermore expansion of the potential farming.
Admitting the farmers level observation, Abdul Khaleque, Manager of Government Fish Breeding Hatchery, mentioned a modern prawn breeding hatchery is being constructed at a cost of Taka 74 crore here to remove the existing prawn spawn scarcity.
Construction work of the hatchery is scheduled to be complete by this month of June. Afterwards, spawn production will start and farmers can collect those by mid of the year. Post larva will be produced here though bringing parents. Farmers can purchase healthy and quality hatchlings from here at reasonable price.
He said the Department of Fisheries (DoF) is implementing two projects in order to expand the farming in Barind region comprising Rajshahi, Naogaon and Natore districts.
DoF intends to expand prawn farming in freshwater bodies through transferring and disseminating updated technologies to the grassroots farmers. Demands of hatchlings and fingerlings will be met up through successful implementation of the projects.
In addition to farmers' motivation, the department has set up projection ponds. The upcoming hatchery will benefit the farmers in Rajshahi and its adjacent districts enormously, he expected.