India, Tamil Nadu – Big Problems

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India, Tamil Nadu – Big Problems

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Durai Balasubramanian, secretary of the Pattukottai Shrimp Farmers Association (4,000 members) in the state of Tamil Nadu, reports: There are many reports about the dramatic expansion of shrimp farming in India, but the truth is that farmers in the state of Tamil Nadu have big problems.

• In the last year, feed costs have risen 23%, from $1.00 a kilo to $1.31 per kilo.

• Over the past two years, seedstock costs have risen 60%.

• Farmers have survivals of 80% for the first 60 days of culture and then get hit with “running mortality syndrome”, which is worse than early mortality syndrome.  At 120 days, survivals drop to 40% and feed conversion ratios double.

• Prices for small shrimp have dropped.

• The cost of pond additives has risen 20%.

• Since October 2014, whitespot has almost wiped all of Tamil Nadu’s shrimp farms.

• Farmers are thinking of switching from Penaeus vannamei to P. monodon.

• Farmers are no longer expanding production.  In fact, they are cutting back on production.

Shrimp farming in Tamil Nadu: The technical improvements made in shrimp farming in many parts of the world paved the way to increase shrimp farming through aquaculture by adopting extensive, modified extensive and semi intensive systems of shrimp farming in the areas where environmental conditions are well suited. Tamil Nadu is endowed with rich natural resources such as coastal zones in the form of brackish water / estuaries for shrimp culture. The brackish water resources of Tamil Nadu is about 56,000 ha in which 18,000 ha are identified as potential areas for farming. At present shrimp aquaculture has been developed in 12 maritime district of Tamil Nadu in about 4,455 ha. The tiger shrimp (P.monodon) and white shrimp (P.indicus) are the most common species cultured in shrimp ponds. The farmers are encouraged to adopt traditional and extensive farming methods for sustainable aquaculture. (Source: Government of Tamil Nadu)

Information: Durai Balasubramanian, Pattukottai Shrimp Farming Association, 101 Big Street, Pattukottai 614602, India (email durai.balasubramanian@myport.ac.uk).

Source: Emails to Shrimp News International.  Subject: Farming Tamilnadu Report 2014.  Durai Balasubramanian.  January 23 and 24, 2015.

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