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Shrimp Farming: A New Horizon towards Profitable Agri-Business

Shrimp farming is creating a new history in the agriculture scenario this month with a sudden rise in its production and demand. Lakhwinder Singh, 48, a farmer from Ratta Khera village in Lambi, district Muktsar of Punjab, is now earning a handsome income from the waterlogged land, where the traditional wheat and paddy farming was not possible due to high salinity and waterlogging in the region.

Pronami Chetia
shrimp farming
Shrimp Farming

Shrimp farming is creating a new history in the agriculture scenario with a sudden rise in its production and demand. Lakhwinder Singh, 48, a farmer from Ratta Khera village in Lambi, district Muktsar of Punjab, is earning a huge income from the waterlogged land, where the traditional wheat and paddy farming was not possible due to high salinity and waterlogging in the region. While the land in this area, once a curse for farmers, has recently turned into a boon for the farmers. It’s a great result of proper implementation of aquaculture in the state. 

This sudden profit led the farmers in Muktsar, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Mansa, Bathinda districts of Malwa region of the state rapidly switching their job towards shrimp farming, or the cultivation of prawns, which are high in demand and fetch good money. 

The area under shrimp farming across the state has increased to 400 acres from 248 acres last year.  

Madan Mohan, director fisheries said, “More and more farmers are taking it up for the good income it generates for them. From one acre in 2016, we are now farming shrimp on 400 acres. Our target is to cover 500 acres this year.”  

As per a report, this year shrimp is cultivated on 138 acres from last year’s 66.5 acres in Muktsar. Officials said that approximately 88 thousand hectares of land are affected by saline water, mainly in south-west Punjab, creating a huge scope for aquaculture in the state. 

Shrimp Farming Turned Out More Profitable Than Crops 

The shrimp season only lasts four months, from July to October.  About 4,000 kg of shrimp can be produced from a pond excavated on an acre of land, which can fetch a price of Rs 250-350 per kg. After excluding costs, the net profit can range from 4-5 lakh per acre, which is very less in case of the conventional cropping system. 

“On an average, a farmer can earn up to Rs 60 thousand from an acre of wheat-paddy crops after excluding the costs,” says Davinder Kumar Grover, director, agro-economic research center. 

Government’s Schemes

The state government has been providing a 40% subsidy on digging a pond.  “A unit comprising of one hectare costs Rs 10 lakhs to the farmer and state government provides 4 lakhs subsidy to them per acre. In 2018, the area under shrimp in Muktsar was 66 acres and we will likely touch 150 acres this year,” said Rajinder Kataria, assistant director fisheries Muktsar. 

“To encourage farmers to switch to shrimp farming, we are holding awareness camps in several districts. The future of shrimp is very bright and can change the fortunes of farmers,” added Kataria. 

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