December 05, 2003



Bangladesh Urged To Improve Its Shrimp Industry

The first meeting of the Global Aquaculture Discussion Forum (GADF), a newly floated international forum which ended yesterday, call for greater collaboration among the stakeholders to boost shrimp exports, especially to the west.


The forum, which deals on aquaculture, international trading standards and the implications for small-scale farming and rural development in Asia, also urged Bangladesh to take further steps to improve its shrimp industry, largest export earner after readymade garments (RMG).


" We have discussed every issues about shrimp cultivation which has become culture in the country," Syed Mahmudul Huq, chairman of Bangladesh Shrimp Foundation (BSF) told journalists at Sarina hotel in the city.


The BSF, an affiliated body of the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), is dedicated to promote the production and export of shrimp from Bangladesh. The Shrimp Seal of Quality (SSOQ) is also working with the BSF to divert farmers to modern farming from traditional one and thus to increase production.


In this conference, Mahmudul Huq said problems particularly in the shrimp industry in Asian and Bangladesh have been discussed. He said shrimp experts have suggested for taking an integrated approach comprising all stakeholders to boost shrimp industry.


On a question, GAA chairman George W Chamberlain said Bangladesh has made some progress in shrimp industry, but it has to go a long way to make its product more competitive. The shrimp industry of the country is still very rudimentary, he said, adding it has no direct link to the international market. As a result, the middlemen share the output of the industry, not by the farmers.


Chief of Party of Agro-based Industries and Technology Development Project (ATDP) Ron Gillespie, representative of Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) Michael J Phillips and executive director of BSF Dr Mahmudul Karim also spoke in the press conference.


Shrimp is the second largest foreign currency earning sector with last year's earning amounting to 270 million US dollars. In Bangladesh, direct and indirect employment amounts to around 4.2 million people.