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Profitable Shrimp Farming Gains Traction in West Bengal

Currently, profitable farming and businesses are being adopted as alternative career options by the unemployed youth. Shrimp farming stands out as a highly remunerative alternative. Shrimps can be farmed nearly all year round.

Shivangi Rai
Shrimp farming stands out as a highly remunerative alternative and can be done nearly all year round.
Shrimp farming stands out as a highly remunerative alternative and can be done nearly all year round.

Shrimp farming does not require much space. Successful shrimp farming in small areas can generate good profits. Due to the nutritional quality of shrimp, there is considerable demand in several Indian markets as well as foreign ones.

Prawns offer a variety of health advantages. They contain a lot of selenium, which slows the growth of cancer cells. Prawns' rich omega-3 and fatty acid concentrations help them lower blood pressure. They also include vitamin B-12, which promotes memory and heart health, and are high in vitamin E, which is good for the skin. However, prawns shouldn't be consumed if you have allergies. In the East Medinipur district's Haldia Agra subdivision, prawns are widely cultivated. The coastal regions of East Medinipur, according to the locals, are ideal for raising saltwater prawns. A large area, including Nandakumar, Kanthi, Nandigram, Ramnagar, Chandipur, and Khajuri in the riverfront areas of East Medinipur district, is home to several shrimp farms.

In the Nandigram block alone, paddy cultivation has dwindled in recent years in favor of shrimp farming, as shrimp farming yields higher profits than rice farming.

Agriculture Department sources report that around 11,000 hectares of agricultural land exist in Nandigram-1 block.

According to the ‘Nandigram Vannamei and Bagda Aqua Culture Association’ in the last few years, about 5,000 hectares have transitioned to shrimp farming. Across both Nandigram blocks, the shrimp farming area spans nearly 10,000 acres.

Many who transitioned from farming to fishing claim that most of their land was single-crop. One bigha of cultivation would produce around Rs 3,500 per year. If that land is leased for fish farming, the annual profit per bigha is approximately Rs 25,000, nearly eight times higher. Without leasing the land, shrimp farming can yield profits exceeding lakhs.

Bimal Naskar, one of the shrimp farmers from Nandigram, said, “If you cultivate shrimp on one piece of land, you can earn a considerable sum of money thrice a year, which you won’t get from rice or other cultivation.”

In Nandigram, around 10,000 people are directly and indirectly involved in shrimp farming. The Fisheries Department considers any type of shrimp farming as an alternative occupation with substantial profit potential.

Consequently, the Department of Fisheries is working to inspire educated unemployed youth in the area to involve in shrimp farming and other fish farming through necessary support and technology. Suman Kumar Sahu, Fisheries Extension Officer of Nandigram Block One said, “Fish farming for employment is very profitable for unemployed youth. Lobsters in fresh water and salt water are very profitable. Shrimp farming also provides opportunities for export to foreign countries which can earn foreign exchange.”

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