I used to find curiosity in various things from my childhood. That’s why I was never afraid of exploring new opportunities. Being an aquaculture entrepreneur was not something that I had in mind as a profession. The inspiration to start my fish culture came from a close acquaintance. He suggested that I should utilize the ponds I have in my possession to produce quality fish. That decision in 1990 still motivates me to go further beyond my limit.
With that suggestion, I dived into the blue world of fisheries. I had a pond of my own and leased another one to release the fingerlings. In the beginning, I did not want to take any risk, and that’s why I only released Pangas fingerlings. My objective was to nurture them for 20-22 days until they become pona and sell them. To my surprise, the number of ponas was around 2,00,000. By selling that, I got almost BDT 1,00,000 from that production. I realized that fish production and culture are more profitable than most other businesses.
After getting such a positive response from the beginning, I thought of diversifying the production. So, I started releasing carp fingerlings in my ponds. It not only allowed me to be more flexible with the culture, but it also raised the production. When the fingerlings reach adulthood, I sell most of them in the local market while keeping a portion for myself. The reason is to use those for our as in my family’s consumption and restocking them for future production. This way, I get enough profit to reinvest in my business and proper nutrition from perfectly healthy fish.
As the days of technology and more advanced methods were upon us, we had to learn everything anew to adjust. The government helped us, the aquaculture entrepreneurs, a lot by arranging various training programs. I joined a 15-day training program by Youth Development. After that, I understood that these sessions could revolutionize the fisheries sector. Over 30 years of work experience in this field, I attended many programs, seminars. But the training program hosted by WorldFish and LightCastle Partners was completely outstanding. They made me realize the efficient ways of production. Their whole discussion was full of details and relatable facts. I learned so much from this particular session.
Despite starting from zero with no experience, I never encountered too many complications in my business. It was stable until 2020. The pandemic badly affected us in so many ways. The production, market, transport, price, everything suffered because of the troubling situation. Due to the falling market price, I was incurring losses. However, surprising development came from a few of my ponds. I released tengra (small-sized catfish) fingerlings in 3/4 ponds, and they all had brilliant production. The price of tengra did not change much compared to other fishes in the market. That saved me through the tough times. So, I advised some of the youth in my locality to culture tengra as those were in good demand.
Now, my aim is to give more focus to rice and vegetable cultivation. I had to give up agriculture production because of the Covid situation, but I think I will be able to start afresh. While doing that, I also want to increase the number of ponds in my possession. That way, I will get enormous-sized fish and huge profits. Keeping my faith in the almighty, I look forward to seeing what the future holds.