Farmers in Kurigram are hopeful of earning huge profits in jumbo river prawn farming, a project undertaken last year.
Kurigram District Fish Seed Multiplication Farm, locally known as Kurigram Matsya Beej Utpadon Khamar, initiated the project to encourage shrimp farmers produce jumbo fresh water prawns, more commonly known as “golda chingri” in Bangladesh.
After last year's success, farmers are enthusiastic about growing jumbo sweetwater prawns in Kurigram, sources at the hatchery said.
District Fisheries Officer Zillur Rahman inaugurated this year's season on Wednesday morning in the presence of a number of fish farmers.
Sources also said, in order to hatch the eggs, saltwater is collected from Pekua and Chakaria in Cox's Bazar, and pregnant prawns are brought from the Payra River in Borguna.
The saltwater is mixed with the fresh water in the hatcheries to facilitate the hatching of the eggs. After the eggs are hatched, the hatchlings are tended for 28-32 days.
Speaking to reporters, the farm's manager, Musa Kalimullah, said: “Last year, on the first day, we sold 70,000 hatchlings to four fish farmers. Each hatchling was sold at Tk1. Within one month, the price increased to Tk5-6 per hatchling.
“In the current season, we are estimating selling around 300,000 hatchlings and 65,000 juvenile prawns to around 100 farmers,” he added.
Fisheries Officer Zillur Rahman said: “In 2017, we sold 300,000 hatchlings and 65,000 juveniles to 50 farmers. Investing Tk250,000, we earned Tk371,000.”