Vannamei farming in Biofloc culture: Malappuram farmer rears 4000 shrimps in 12000-litre tank
Malappuram: Vannamei shrimp is one of the most sought after variety but is very rare in Kerala. They are usually cultivated in coastal fields as it needs saline water to breed. But Malappuram Purathur native Subrahmanian, 64, cultivates Vannamei at home in a biofloc style that is suitable for those who have limited access to land and water.
Biofloc farming is less expensive in terms of feed as the waste formed in the biofloc tank is eaten by the bacteria in it and the fish consume these bacteria. Subrahmanian reared 4,000 Vannamei prawns in a 12,000-litre tank in this season. When it was harvested after 120 days, he earned Rs 400 per kilogram.
He has now started to rear 1500 murrells (Varaal in Malayalam) in a 20,000-litre tank. There are also Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) and other varieties. These shrimps are brought from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. He is also a master in recirculatory aquaculture, a less water needed farming method, and aquaponics, which uses fish waste instead of soil and fertilizers.
Subrahmanian has been in Abu Dhabi for 33 years. After he returned, he started to cultivate cucumbers. In 2017, he started fish farming. Later, he carried out farming in subsidy under the Central Government's Blue Revolution, Fisheries' Popular fish farming schemes and Subhiksha Kerala project. He also produces saplings for Krishi Bhavan in Tirur block.