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Thrust on freshwater prawn culture in ponds

NAGAPATTINAM

The Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai districts have accorded a thrust on freshwater prawn culture in ponds, under the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture.

Subsidies are being provided to those who undertake freshwater prawn culture in ponds. Subsidy to the extent of 40% is being provided for creation of small ponds for rearing shrimps, as per a recent call made by the authorities to promote fresh water prawn culture.

According to Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, aquaculture production of giant freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii in India has shown a phenomenal increase in recent years.

Aquaculture has created enthusiasm among entrepreneurs especially for shrimp farming in coastal areas. Although India has vast freshwater resources they are not fully exploited except for carp culture in limited scale. Fresh water fish culture employing composite fish culture technology has become popular for use in large number of tanks and ponds in the country, studies state.

The hatchery and nursery is located inland where there is ample supply of good freshwater, and saline water required for larval development is transported and mixed with freshwater to attain the desired salinity.

The soil conditions for freshwater prawn culture: clay-silt mixture or sandy loam comprising of 60% sand and 40% silt with good water retention capacity, is ideal for inland freshwater prawn culture in the Nagapattinam-Mayiladuthurai coastal belt, according to officials.

The ponds are usually dug up in farms where the soil is fertile, as this will reduce the need and costs of fertilisation. Freshwater prawn ponds are constructed on soil, which has good water retention characteristics or where suitable materials can be economically brought onto the site to improve water retention, according to the TNAU advisory.

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