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Launching Of A Prawn Farming Project In Chundikulam Reservoir In Kilinochchi District.

Colombo, Jan. 30 -- Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Douglas Devananda has launched a Natural Prawn Farming Project under the guidance and assistance of NAQDA in Chundikulam Reservoir in Kilinochchi District. The reservoir extends over to an area of 32, 500 acres and holds a massive volume of brackish water and is envisaged to be ideal place for the Project to be launched.

Mrs. Vijayaluxmi, the Chief Secretary of the Northern Provincial Council under the instructions of Major General G.A. Chandrasiri, the Governor of the North has allocated a sum of Rs. 15 million to kick off the project.

Mr. Nimalchandra, Secretary General of NAQDA and Mr. Thayaparan, a businessman from the Private Sector have also mediated into the Project, the latter's role being to purchase the entire catch of the fishermen at fair price from them and export the entire harvest to foreign markets.

The Minister is to release about 25 million post larvae obtained from different breeding centres in the Island into the reservoir, on the 22nd of January, 2012. Mr. Murugesu Chandrakumar, EPDP Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Committee of Parliament and Mr. Sylvestri Alantin, (Udayan) Jaffna EPDP Member of Parliament is also to participate at this occasion.

For management of this Project 14 co-operatives have been set up with membership running to about 1500. A fully grown prawn will weigh about 100 gms and harvest could be obtained in a period of 3 and a half months. Unlike the fresh water prawns, these brackish water prawns do not need special food or supplying of oxygen as they solely feed on micro organisms found in water. As such a capital is not needed for farming these prawns. Harvesting is also needed to be done at the right time, failure to do so would result in the death of these brackish water prawns.

There is a big demand for these prawns in foreign countries and a kilogram fetches about Rs. 500/= . At harvest time, in a day a fisherman could easily catch about 100 kilograms of prawns, thus contributing in a big way for enhancement of their income. NAQDA organization and Mr. Thayaparan expect to buy the entire stock of prawns during the harvest. It's also said that there is a big demand for these brackish water prawns farmed under natural conditions than those from prawn farms. And in Singapure a kilogram of brackish water prawns could fetch in about 10 Singapore dollars.

The Minister is taking action to farm fresh water and sea water fish and prawns in all the fresh water and brackish water reservoirs in the Northern Region, as a measure to provide with the protein requirement of the people, especially that of the children, to rid of the malnutrition prevalent among them.

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Publication:Asian Tribune (India)
Date:Jan 30, 2012
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