Up to 50% of India’s workforce accounts for the agriculture and the related industry. Aquaculture in the country is also self-reliant ranking second in aquaculture production, next to China. There are a large variety of agriculture and aquaculture opportunities available here and many people are making a living. One such opportunity that seems promising to agriculture enthusiasts is the start of a shrimp farming business. While India has a large spread of brackish water area that is suitable for shrimp cultivation, less than 10% of the area is actually used for freshwater shrimp farming. These figures provide significant evidence that starting a shrimp farming business in India is lucrative and an opportunity that can be started with a minimal budget.
Are you interested in starting a small-scale shrimp farm? Though the business doesn’t require educational background but you need to have some basic knowledge and skill in harvesting and handling of commercial shrimp cultivation.
Before you can start a shrimp farming business, you need to do some initial preparation. This all starts with some planning and gathering knowledge about how the shrimp farming industry works. You will also need to learn about the cultivating process and the circumstances required for farming shrimp. You need to start by realizing the importance of the perfect environment to cultivate shrimps:
- Suitable soil should contain 90% clay and have a pH level that is between 6.5 and 8.5
- Soil should not be sandy because its porous nature may cause erosion, leakage of water.
- Mangrove and acid sulfate should not be present in the suitable soil.
- Water should not have acidic nature or high counts of organic matter contents.
To ensure the area where ponds are to be built is suitable for shrimp farming, a test should first be performed. The test includes samples taken from up to 10 different surface spots, as well as at 1-meter deep. These samples should be sent to a laboratory for testing. The soil texture and pH levels of the soil should be reported within the test, which will allow you to determine the eligibility of the soil.
Furthermore, the pond in which shrimp will be cultivated needs to be well-designed in order to support the shrimp. While there are no specifics regarding the building of these ponds, they should be designed in accordance with the selected location, as well as match the characteristics of the culture system. A better designed pond will also ensure pond management gets done quickly and easily.
Once you have gained an adequate amount of knowledge regarding the process of shrimp farming, it is time to start with the basics. In India, as with most other countries, certain registrations and licenses need to be obtained for the legal operation of a shrimp farming business. You can contact your local authorities in order to find more information regarding the requirements and process.
You will also need to decide on the location of your shrimp farming business and the type of shrimps you will be cultivating. These will all have a large impact on your startup requirements, as well as the potential of your business. For this reason, learning more about the shrimp that are in high demand in your local area can yield many benefits. In the Indian region, the most suitable species of shrimp to farm with includes:
- Penaeus indicus, also known as the Indian White Prawn
- monodon, also known as the Tiger Prawn
If you need to expand your selection or would like to focus on other species, ensure there are a market for the specific specie and make sure you understand their specific cultivating needs.
When stocking your farm with shrimp, it is also important to first inspect the seeds before buying. If the seeds are infected with bacteria, then the quality of the harvest may not be adequate or profitable. You will also need to ensure that the environment you will be locating the shrimp in is free of insects, larva, bacteria and other foreign partials that can affect the quality of the shrimp. Once you’ve taken care of these basics, you can start stocking shrimp for your new farming business.
It is recommended to start feeding the shrimp twice a day after they’ve reached the size of 5 grams. Feeding can include quality imported shrimp feeds or commercially available special shrimp feeds that can be bought at an agriculture store.
Finally, if all goes well, you should be able to start harvesting within the first 2 months after starting your operation. You should ensure all shrimp have grown to the appropriate size and decide on the type of harvest you want to implement. This can be either cull harvesting or drain harvesting. The available infrastructure in your local area should be able to help you determine the best harvesting method for your shrimp farm.
A shrimp farming business can be profitable in many countries around the world, including India, where the market is currently underused. By taking the time to build up knowledge and by putting effort into this business opportunity, you can create a sustainable income from cultivating shrimps. While it takes time to master the art of shrimp farming, once you have gained the experience and skills necessary, success are sure to follow.