INDIA: For six years, shrimp farming has been carried out as a pilot test in waterlogged areas of Muktsar and Fazilka districts, Punjab state, by Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), located in Ludhiana.
GADVASU representatives explain that this land is not usable for any other crop as it has a salinity of 5 parts per thousand, 10 times the salinity of river water, Hindustan Times reported.
Farmers stated that they earn an income of INR 1 million (USD 15,500) in the shrimp season.
The government of Punjab, a state located in the northeast of India, provides 90 percent subsidy to excavate ponds where the shrimp are grown and 50 percent subsidy is given for purchasing equipment, seed, and feed.
“A large area of a southwestern part of Punjab, including Muktsar and Fazilka, are worst affected by waterlogging. Six years ago GADVASU accepted the challenge of developing aquaculture in the region and conducted trials. We got a good response,” Dr. AS Nanda, GADVASU vice-chancellor stressed.
In this regard, Gurpinder Singh Brar, sarpanch (head) of Bahadar Khera village in Fazilka, pointed out that shrimp farming has changed people’s lifestyle and that the state fisheries department and the University are helping them to carry out the activity.
“Shrimp farming income is many times the earnings from normal crops,” said Dr. Asha Dhawan, former dean, College of Fisheries, GADVASU.
Merra D Ansal, senior scientist, and head, College of Fisheries, GADVASU, said, “To grow shrimp, best management practices are needed. The area should be free of pathogens and the seed should be disease-free and bought from government approved authorities only.”
Further challenges mentioned by shrimp farmers include storage and pricing issues.
Gurpinder Singh Brar believes that a processing project is needed and that farmers should adopt cluster farming, which means stocking at once in the fields and harvesting.