Juvenile crab farming is gaining popularity in coastal regions of the country as many farmers have already benefitted from this practice. In the photo is seen the crab nursery of Shushila Rani, one of the beneficiaries of juvenile crab farming in Satkhira
Seeing the high demand of juvenile crab many farmers in coastal districts like Satkhira have established crab nursery and successfully changed their financial condition. This is contributing to the uplift of rural economy and women's empowerment as well.
Two of the women who become successful by crab farming are Sushila Rani of Kaliganj in Satkhira and Nurjahan Begum of Munshiganj area under Shyamnagar upazila in the district.
According to farmers, juvenile crabs weighing less than five grams usually are not collected and thus a large number of juvenile crabs are wasted while fishing or collecting fish in coastal areas. However, the crab farmers collect these juvenile crabs, mostly from rivers and river channels around the Sundarbans, for farming.
They prepare small ponds in their homestead and surround the ponds with bamboo fence so that the juvenile crabs cannot run away. After 30 to 45 days, the juvenile crabs get ready for fattening and farmers sell them to commercial crab farmers at Tk 15 to 20 per piece. Juvenile crab farmer Sushila Rani said she started crab nursery six months ago with the help of Practical Action, an international NGO, and got success in the earliest time.
"Usually I nurture 1,000 juvenile crabs and earn around Tk 15,000 to 20,000 each batch, which is very profitable. My husband helps me in this work and we almost get hundred percent successes," she said. When asked about where she got the idea of nurturing juvenile crabs, Sushila said she received training and subsequent support from Practical Action to run the juvenile crab farming business. Another juvenile crab farmer under the initiative, Nurjahan Begum of Munshiganj of Syamnagar in Satkhira, has become a role model in her area. "Juvenile crab nursery changed my life and livelihood.
I got around Tk 15,000 within three months from a single nursery pond," she said. AJM Shafiqul Islam, Capacity Building Coordinator (Food, Agriculture and Market Program) of Practical Action, said they got the idea of establishing crab nursery as there was no crab hatchery in the country.
"Such crab nurseries are changing the fate of many families. Currently, we are taking care of eight beneficiaries in the Satkhira and many have expressed their interest in such business," he said. He also said this farming had been contributing to climate change adaptation.
He said they developed a cluster-based dyke gardening in the salinity-hit Satkhira's Syamnagar area. Under their monitoring and assistance, 20 farmers in the area are involved with dyke farming along with the fish farming which ultimately took out the families from the poverty trap within a reasonable timeframe.
Enamul Hossain Chotu, chairman of Tarali union parishad of Kaliganj, said the innovative idea had changed the economic condition of farmers involved in juvenile crab nursery. "In Satkhira district, most of the people are dependent on shrimp farming, which is adding to the climate change impacts.
-Khairuzzaman Kamal, from Satkhira
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