Bottom Sludge Removal Technology Opens New Avenues for Fish Export
A continuous increase in population decreases the availability of cultivable land, along with the water resources for aquaculture production in Bangladesh. To meet the demand of the increased population and potential export market to help improve the socioeconomic condition, the country needs to increase aquaculture production as much as possible from the available water resources by adopting improved aquaculture technologies.
The Feed the Future Bangladesh Aquaculture and Nutrition Activity, in partnership with Sardar Agro, introduced the “bottom sludge removal technology” in a 50 decimal pond to demonstrate an innovative way to increase fish production significantly from pond aquaculture to meet the increasing demand for fish. For wider dissemination and adoption of the technology, Sardar Agro organized capacity building training for the interested farmers. So far, Sardar Agro trained 211 farmers on various features and techniques for the bottom sludge removal from ponds for the expected increase in aquaculture production. Ten students from the universities in Khulna and Jashore started research at this site to study economic and water quality aspects as part of their master’s program. Besides, for effective forward market linkages with fish buyers, especially with exporters, Sardar Agro organized exposure visits to their ponds from time to time.
Thanks to the activity support, from March 2021 to April 2022, Sardar Agro was able to increase production of pabda fish/butterfish along with carp to 66 metric tons/hectare, which is an increase of more than five times the existing production, 12 metric tons/hectare. During the period, Sardar Agro exported 11.8 metric tons pabda, worth Bangladeshi taka (BDT) 2,994,000, equivalent to $35,335, to India.
Md. Almotaffifin Ahmed, project coordinator of Sardar Agro, says, “The bottom sludge removal technology is an outstanding means to increase pond production and supply fish in a bulk quantity for export market. Already a few large and institutional fish buyers, including some exporters, started communicating with us to procure bulk quantity of fish from us. We hope that this would help us to penetrate into the export market and ultimately contribute significantly to national economy.”