A quiet revolution is happening in the ponds of shrimp farmers in Bangladesh. In 2012, the average commercial shrimp farmer produced around 230 kg per hectare, which is low for global averages. Now, many farmers produce 280 kg per hectare, a 21 percent increase.
Since 2012, shrimp farmers in Bangladesh have been using better management practices and quality virus-free seed, which have boosted the sector’s productivity.
It’s happening under USAID-funded Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition project, which has been training shrimp farmers in better management practices and supporting access to high-quality shrimp seed.
Widespread adoption of these techniques by producers has boosted the productivity of the shrimp sector, which is Bangladesh’s third largest source of export earnings, valued at around BDT 5 billion (~USD 191.7 million) each year.
Through the training, farmers learn that using quality shrimp seed is crucial for preventing disease. Of particular concern is the devastating white spot syndrome (WSS) virus, which can destroy entire populations of shrimp farms within a few days.
Most of Bangladesh’s shrimp is exported to Europe and North America, where regulators and buyers are calling for greater traceability back to the producer. To prove that Bangladeshi shrimp is high quality and safe, the project has established a pilot e-traceability system.