Prawns are a staple in many people's diets around the world. Prawns are loved by many people, whether they're fried or eaten raw.
Asia is the main source of shrimp; and in India this business is also carried out on a large scale. The importance of prawn farming is evident in the fisheries sector.
You don't need a lot of capital or a large area to start a shrimp farming business. This is a popular business that makes crores of rupees. It isn't very hard work, but it does require proper management and care. To be a successful prawn farmer, it is important to have accurate and complete information, right from what is shrimp farming to all the intricacies of the business.
Did You Know?
Recently, India became the world's leading shrimp producer. 8,05,000 tons of shrimp were produced in India in the year of 2019. Andhra Pradesh has served as the anchor of freshwater shrimp farming in India because of its water and land resources.
How Do You Start a Shrimp Farming Business?
There are just 10 easy steps to follow. Make sure you follow each of the following steps to perfection because a minor mistake can also highly affect your yield.
1. You Must Sterilise Everything
To ensure that the shrimps are healthy, sterilisation is important. Sterilisation is essential before stocking starts. This includes the farm itself, equipment and cultural water. It will ensure there are no pathogens and minimise the chance of getting sick.
2. Preparation of Ponds
The pond should be dried for three weeks and then drained off the water until the soil is cracked. You should remove any muck or black soil from the bottom of your pond. It should be full of water. Dry them for a week. Before the final flushing and drying, you can apply hydrated lime at a rate of 2 tons per hectare.
You can place double hapa nets (10x10x1.5m) in the middle of the pond when you identify it's dry and clean. Bamboo catwalks are important to facilitate fish feeding and monitoring, from the dikes to pens.
3. Keep Your Alkalinity at a Healthy Level
Because alkalinity directly impacts pH fluctuation and bacterial composition in the shrimp farming business, it is one of the most important parameters in water quality. Maintaining alkalinity between 120 and 150 ppm is crucial. You can maintain alkalinity by using bicarbonate and carbonate compounds such as:
It is more beneficial to treat regularly than to do so when alkalinity spikes occur. The amount of treatment you apply should not exceed 20 ppm to maximise alkalinity. If you lack investment in the equipment and some additional things for the shrimp farming business, apply for a suitable loan.
Also Read: How to Start a Poultry Farm Business?
4. Water Culture/Fertilisation
After installing the pens, you can fill the ponds with seawater up to a maximum depth between 1.0 and 1.2 metres. You can seal the gates, and you must install a depth gauge to monitor the water level. Also, you can include teased powder (20ppm) to ensure that water is free of predators and possible competitors. To prevent predators from entering the pond from pumping, you must place the fine mesh screens at each flume outlet.
5. Calibrate All Your Measurement Tools
Although it may seem easy, calibrate all of your measurement equipment before each cycle. Your pH metre, chemical test kit, dissolved oxygen (DO), refractometer, and refractometer must be calibrated. Inaccurate data can lead to serious mismanagement. Calibrated tools can help you get more accurate information about the farm's conditions and enable your team to make better decisions.
6. Feeding Management
It would be best if you fed shrimps immediately after stocking. The shrimp feeds are distributed around the pond, with some of the feeding ration still in the feeding tray. To monitor daily feed consumption, you can feed four trays of 0.25 square metres. Blind feeding is not good for the first 30 days. Feeding 10,000 postlarvae with 200g of feed can be helpful.
You can lift the trays within one to three hours after identifying the feed is empty. After 40 days of culture, shrimps need to be fed five meals daily.
The time and the percentage can be seen in the table below:
7. Moulting is a Problem
Moulting is an important stage in shrimp's growth, and it allows them to grow larger and requires special attention. Regular sampling is a good way to find out the stage of the shrimp's moulting process so we can prepare for when it happens. It is best to provide enough micronutrients for shrimp to form the new exoskeleton. This can help to prevent problems with moulting and death from failed moults.
The following minerals are beneficial for shrimp moulting:
8. Water Management and Aeration
After 30 days of culture, you have to drain 10%-20% of the water from the pond. The reservoir ponds will then supply water. You have to drain the water from the reservoir for at least 4 days before you use it to replenish the water in shrimp rearing ponds.
Six paddle-wheel aerators are useful to maintain the ideal level of dissolved oxygen. For the first 60 days, four aerators are useful alternately for 24 hours. To increase water flow and phytoplankton within the pens, you can install another aerator in each tilapia pond.
9. Harvest and Post-Harvest Handling
You can harvest shrimps once they are at least 30g in weight. After draining the water from the pond, you can collect them using a net at the gate. The shrimps are then placed in water with crushed ice to preserve their quality. After that, you have to separate the shrimps by size and place them into boxes filled with crushed ice for shipment to shrimp processing plants.
10. Implement a Nursery Phase
Shrimp farmers often stock shrimp postlarvae (PL) directly from hatcheries to the grow-out tanks. However, this can be risky as PLs have an underdeveloped immune system. It is expensive to invest in infrastructure. However, a nursery phase reduces the risk of PLs becoming ill by ensuring that their immune systems are strengthened before they reach maturity.
For 30 days, PL obtained from hatcheries should only be kept in small nursery ponds and tanks with a density greater than 2000 PL/m2. Because the tanks/ponds are smaller, probiotics will be great if you use them less often. Also, they will be more effective than those in larger grow-out ponds. This will reduce mortality and cost.
You can easily make more than ₹3 lakh if you grow prawns using advanced prawn farming methods. All it takes is ₹50,000 to start this shrimp farming business plan. This profit can be increased by properly managing the prawn farm and selecting a high-yielding and fast-growing prawn breed.
Also, supplying prawns to your clients and further handling all the calculations becomes tough, especially when your business grows. So, it's better to find a solution first.
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