Prawn farming, a budding sector in the state

Fish farms in Punjab

Fish farms in Punjab.png

Prawn farming refers to the aquaculture business, in which freshwater prawns or shrimp are raised and produced for human consumption. Farming of prawns or tiger shrimps is a juicy and budding sector in the country, with high export demand. Although it is witnessed more in the coastal areas of the country, the state of Punjab does not lags much behind in providing nutritious sea food in the state.

Transposing back in the year 2000, when the districts of Jalandhar and Ludhiana in Punjab were chosen for an experimental basis of prawn farming. The experiment witnessed high and lucrative yields for the farmers in the state. Keeping in view the success, about 30 farmers from Punjab were provided training regarding prawn farming in Nellur, Andhra Pradesh in the year, 2002.

According to a survey, the country has been triumphantly exporting sea food worth Rs. 6,000 per annum, of which prawn is a major component. The unit value of prawn, is as high as Rs. 400 – Rs. 500 per kg. Punjab, a state which upholds the torch of agriculture, is seen to accelerate the sector by prawn farming. It has an increasing scope, owing to the demand of prawn in Delhi, and the various five – star hotels. The unit value of prawn in Delhi, varies between Rs. 700 – Rs. 800, in contrast to a demand of 25 kg – 30 kg in a day. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), acts as a bridge for ameliorating the wide gap between the specialized prawn diets and the farmers, by providing the farmers an in-depth insight into technical facilities and marketing facilities in the sector.

The Central Institute of Fisheries Education (CIFE), Mumbai has been contributing evidently to the state for accelerating the shrimp and prawn farming in the state. It has helped to overcome the myth that, prawn farming can only be done in the coastal areas. The Central Institute of Fisheries Education (CIFE), has been providing an impetus of new technology which allows the use of saline wastelands for prawn farming in the state.

The Guru Angad Dev University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), initiated shrimp farming on an experimental basis in some parts of the Fazilka district. The initiative took place, with the far sight of overcoming water logging in the state. It has even been estimated that, a farmer can earn profit up to Rs. 4 lakh per hectare annually, by shrimp farming the waterlogged areas. The aquaculture has definitely made its way out of the conventional agriculture in the state.

Although, the creation of alternative paradigm in the agricultural sector is not easy, but, it would not be wrong to claim that with the concentrated efforts of the responsive state government, the budding sector of fish marketing and prawn farming has been providing an opportunity to the farmers for earning higher level of income, generate self-employment, rural development and augment the economic growth of the state.

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