Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Ornamental Prawn Cultivation: Women of Lakshadweep becoming self-sufficient

Helping women through community aquaculture unit.


Ornamental Prawn Cultivation | It is becoming an essential occupation for people living in marine areas. It is very popular in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. Lakshadweep is the only area in the country where ten islands are inhabited. All these are spread over the Arabian Sea. The primary means of livelihood of the local people of Lakshadweep are Tuna Fish Farming and the preparation of coconut products. Apart from this, they do not have any other source of income. There are very few means of livelihood, especially for women.

To solve this problem, ICAR-NBFGR has set up a community aquaculture unit. Here women were trained in ornamental shrimp farming and other ornamental marine life so that they could become self-reliant. Islanders generally struggle to increase their income, as they have very little land. In such a situation, they can be provided with alternative sources of income only through marine organisms.

Ornamental Prawn Cultivation
Image Credit: ICAR

Innovative Initiatives of ICAR-NBFGR

ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR), Lucknow, established a facility for marine ornamentals at Agatti Island to provide an alternative source of livelihood to the local islanders, especially women. These include germplasm resource centers for marine ornamental invertebrates and community aquaculture units.

These centers are maintained by local women only. Under this, marine ornamentals such as fish, shrimp, and sea anemones are reared until they grow to a marketable size for alternative income. Ornamental Prawn Cultivation is an important part of this.

New species of Shrimp discovered in the survey

In the survey conducted on different islands, along with the biodiversity of the island, three new species of Prawns were also detected. In addition, seed production techniques under captive conditions were standardized globally for the first time for two potential marine ornamental shrimps, Thor hainanensis and Ancylocaris brevicarpalis.

Ornamental Prawn Cultivation
Image Credit: ICAR

One month Training

One month ‘hands on learning’ training was provided by ICAR-NBFGR on Marine Ornamental Culture. In this, 82 people were trained out of which 77 were women. They were given training related to income from marine ornamentals and various aspects of community aquaculture. Captive-bred prawn seeds were given to the beneficiaries who took the training. They had to rear it till it grew to a marketable size. This initiative of ICAR has given a boost to the conservation of indigenous biodiversity while increasing livelihood.

Ornamental Prawn Cultivation
Image Credit: ICAR

Establishment of Community Aquaculture Units

The institute established four community aquaculture units in Agatti Island, where 45 women successfully took up Ornamental Prawn Cultivation. They were given one-month-old prawn seeds, which were to be reared for two and a half to three months. When they grow up, they can be sold directly in the market.

The price of prawns in the market ranges from 175 to 200/- per piece. The project staff of ICAR-NBFGR based in Lakshadweep regularly look after the functioning of the marine rearing units. These people also provide technical know-how and support to the local people when needed.

The Community Aquaculture Center for marine ornamentals is a novel initiative. This will open new avenues of income for the people living on the island, especially the women. This is an initiative to make women self-reliant, as well as it will also help in the conservation of biodiversity.

Also Read: Liquid Nanoclay Technology: How is it making sandy land fertile?

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