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November 17, 2011

 

Export potential for Bangladesh's hybrid shrimp untapped

 

 

More than 1,000 kilogrammes per hectare could be produced on hybrid shrimps cultivation as compared to Bangladesh's traditional shrimp at 200 kilogrammes per hectare, leaving its export potential unused.

 

Bangladesh can earn over US$2.0 billion annually by producing hybrid shrimp.

 

But using the traditional species, the country is now producing only one-fifth of its potential.
 

President of BFFEA, Kazi Shanewaz told the press on the unutilized space of the industry and has urged the government to remove the ban on hybrid shrimp farming in the country. He said Bangladesh is losing huge foreign exchange and market niche by failing to produce more shrimp for exports.

 

The country earned around US$300 million from shrimp export last year as against US$1.0 billion by India, US$1.2 billion by Vietnam from hybrid shrimp exports. Even Thailand earned about three times more than that of Bangladesh during the last fiscal year using hybrid varieties.

 

But Bangladesh government is not allowing hybrid cultivation, the BFEA functionary said. This negation coupled with absence of the use of modern technology in the country's shrimp is depriving it from earnings huge foreign exchange, the industry sources said.

 

The government in mid- 90s had imposed a ban on cultivation on this species of hybrid shrimp for its white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), which had spread to many countries in the world that time.

 

The industry sources said countries like India, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia have tremendously increased shrimp production and export through cultivating white shrimp and earning huge foreign exchange.

 

Those countries are producing more than 1,000 kilogrammes on per hectare whereas production of the traditional shrimp (Bagdha) in Bangladesh is keeping the output several times below the potentials.

 

Bangladesh has over 150,000 hectares of shrimp cultivable land which is more than that of India and three times higher than Thailand, BFFEA statistics showed.

 

Its president Kazi Shanewaz said despite repeated requests the government is not lifting the ban on the white shrimp. There is no positive step in sight.

 

He said the white spot syndrome virus is not found anywhere in the world now. But our authorities do not pay heed to our request, Shanewaz said.

 

He said the local industry is not taking many supply orders now because of poor production capacity. The supply side constraint may only go if the government removes the ban on hybrid production.

 

BFFEA executive director Abul Bashar held the view that the country would be able to boost foreign currency earnings significantly in the next couple of years if the hybrid shrimp production starts here.

 

He urged the government to come forward to help introduce high tech in the country's shrimp production so that producers can ensure proper water supply to their projects.

 

He also laid emphasis on supply of quality feed and installation of modern processing centre for their produces.

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