MULTAN-Farmers have been advised to focus on shrimps farming as climate resilient shrimp farming at barren land and the areas with salty water has a huge economic and nutritious potential.

Talking to this agency here on Sunday, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture (MNSUA) Vice Chancellor Dr Asif Ali and Lecturer MNSUA Nabeel Ikram said farmers in deserts and salty water areas are usually poor, and they should pay heed towards shrimps farming for best return as it offers immense earning potential.

Recently, the MNSUA prepared a pond at 26 marla land in Jalalpur Pirwala and nurtured shrimps. The land was barren with availability of brackish water, he said, adding that with an average level focus, the project team got 300 percent economic return.

The South Punjab could be the hub of shrimps farming as its vast area was barren and salty water land, he added. Lecturer Department of Agronomy MNSUA, Nabeel Ikram said shrimps produce could be obtained thrice a year.

It is very easy to nurture shrimps as it is climate resilient crop, he said. About nurturing shrimps, Nabeel Ikram stated that there were many companies, dealing in shrimps seed, adding that one shrimps seed was available for Rs3 only. He stated the total cost over 26 marla pond was nearly Rs70,000 while farmers could obtain over Rs 250,000 within short span of three months.

The pond for shrimp farming should be made like slope as it helped to collect mature shrimps easily from the pond, he advised.

About shrimps feed, he said that it was easily available, adding that corn, soybean, glucotene could be used as shrimps feed. He said that shrimps were feed once a day. The MNSUA lecturer responding to a question said that shrimps farms were located over 100 acres in Muzaffargarh.

When questioned about shrimps marketing, he observed that different hotels chains and companies purchased shrimps within no time.

Shrimps farming is high value crop and the farmers should move to sustainable agriculture practices also. The farmers are usually observed making complaints on meagre return against some other crops these days but shrimps would surely help them generate handsome profit.

Nabeel stated that average weight of mature shrimp is about 30 to 40 gram. The soop of shrimps, their barbecue (BBQ) and roasts were very much delicious and full of nutrition.

Apart from protein, shrimps provide a pretty impressive array of nutrients, including selenium, vitamin B12, phosphorous, copper, iodine etc, he added.

Pakistani farmers could earn foreign exchange by exporting shrimps to China as it is one of the biggest consumer market of shrimps,he said. Similarly, China Pakistan Economic Corridor would enhance economic opportunities for shrimp farmers. He stated that Vietnam was earning billions of dollar annually on export of shrimps.

How to maintain quality of shrimps during its transportation, the MNSUA teacher observed that it was put into ice and then shifted to markets. It could also be freezed in refrigerators, he added.