Khulna University Fisheries and Marine Resources Technology Discipline (FMRT) signed a deal with the Keya Group to perform joint research aimed at developing the promising industry of crab farming in Bangladesh
In a bid to lower the risk of virus infection in prawn farming enclosures, crab farming is being separated and modernized in the Khulna region.
Under this initiative, 300 crab farmers have already been trained in modern techniques.
Speaking with the Dhaka Tribune,Sushilon Deputy Director Md Rafikul Haque said: “The project to modernize crab farming was launched in August of 2016, and concluded on June 30 this year.
“The project, which had a funding of Tk1 crore, helped 350 farmers become self-dependent in Batiaghata upazila and Khulna sadar, Mongla and Rampal upazila of Bagerhat, and Shyamnagar upazila of Satkhira.”
Those who were trained have established themselves as entrepreneurs in the region, he added.
Rafikul also said: “Among the 350 entrepreneurs, 300 are crab farmers, 20 are in the furniture business, and 30 are involved in the ecotourism sector. Their average income has increased two to three times since training.”
Meanwhile, Senior Assistant Director of District Fisheries, Amal Kanti Roy said: “In this region prawn and crab were being farmed in the same enclosures. This farming method negatively impacts the biological environment of enclosures, which in turn could affect the prawns.
“Under the circumstances, we had to change the farming method for both prawn and crab. Crab farming season usually begins in September and ends in February. Crab export is an emerging sector in Bangladesh, and there is a lot of opportunity in this field.”
Discussing the matter, a crab farmer in Batiaghata upazila, Ratan Sarkar said: “We used to farm both prawn and crab in the same enclosures. As a result, prawn harvests were being affected by virus infections and crab harvests were impacted too.
“After the training, we modernized and separated the farming method, and the profits have become significantly larger. We can sell crabs 15-20 days after the spawns are released in the enclosures.”
Echoing the same opinion, Upazila Fisheries Officer Ripon Kanti Ghosh told this correspondent: “The salinity level in the water cannot be made adequate for both prawn and crab inside enclosures. We are putting an emphasis on farming locally sourced crabs in separate enclosures.”
Owner of crab export firm Sumaiya Sea Food, Md Musa Sheikh said: “Crabs sourced from the Sundarbans have a huge demand in the international market, as they are much tastier. Farmers, who were trained under this project, are already making hefty profits. The government is planning to establish hatcheries to further develop crab farming in the region.”
On May 22 this year, Khulna University Fisheries and Marine Resources Technology Discipline (FMRT) signed a deal on Wednesday with the Keya Group, a business conglomerate, to perform joint research aimed at developing the promising industry of crab farming in Bangladesh.
Head of FMRT, Professor Dr Ghausiatur Reza Banu, signed the agreement with Keya Group’s Senior Project Team Leader, Gias Uddin Talukder, at an event held in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Academic Building around 3:30pm.
Prof Dr Golam Sarwar and Prof Md Yusuf Ali of FMRT will conduct the research and the project will be funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
Findings from the research may be used to explore opportunities in crab farming and marketing. The research will also benefit people engaged in the industry.
Data collected from the research could also be used as a scientific foundation and reference for setting high level government policies on the preservation of crabs and management of this industry.
The researchers will also make an effort to reduce the dependency of crab farmers on nature.
They will also focus on a sustainable method for farming crabs in hatcheries and the effective marketing of the product.