AQUA NEWS

PAKISTAN EXPANDS PILOT SHRIMP-FARMING INTENSIFICATION PROJECT TO 10,600 FARMS

Pakistan’s government has authorized the scale-up of a pilot project designed to promote shrimp farming in the country’s inland areas. The shrimp-farming cluster development project, worth PKR 5.4 billion (USD 24 million, EUR 23 million), was approved in 2019 as part of Pakistan’s Agriculture Transformation Plan and has a slated end-date of 2024. The Pakistan Ministry of National Food Security and Research, the Pakistan Fisheries Development Board and several provincial fisheries departments are co-managers of the project, which was originally slated to cover 3,500 farms in Punjab province. In mid-November 2022, the project’s coordinating committee moved to expand the project to 10,600 shrimp farms, including Sindh and Balochistan in the scope of the Project. It was further decided that instead of the provision of subsidy on the Purchase of Shrimp Seed and Feed by the private sector, the subsidy should be provided on shrimp farm development including pond construction and development of allied infrastructure, the source added. The Committee fixed the ratio of farm construction subsidy to Rs. 120,000/ acre for a maximum of 10 acre/farmer and development of shrimp farms on 7,200 acres in Punjab, 1,100 in Balochistan, and 2,300 acres in Sindh. The committee also decided that 50 percent cost of farm construction will be shared by private shrimp farmers selected by the provincial fisheries departments, while out of the remaining 50 percent cost, the Federal and provincial will share it equally. The proposed model is based initially on semi-intensive shrimp farming culture in which a low stocking density of 60,000 shrimp seeds will be stocked in each one-acre pond. Commercial shrimp feed will be used and some aeration at the time of acute shortage of oxygen will be introduced. The expected yield per acre is about 1450-1500 kg with a 30-gram average weight, which may fetch the rate of Rs. 800-850/kg. The economics of a one-acre shrimp farm based on this model will be: Gross income of Rs. 1,100,000-1,150,000 while the operational cost of one acre is estimated at Rs. 550,000-600,000 and the expected net income will be around Rs. 500,000-550,000/acre per crop.