I was very young when I was exposed to the world of fisheries because of my father’s profession. We are not a wealthy family, but we make do with our honest work. My father had a fish business, and I saw his hard work since my childhood. His passion compelled me to get involved in his business. That’s why at the age of 14, I started helping my father and left my education. From then onwards, my entrepreneurial journey began.
Initially, we used to buy fish from the local warehouse and then sell them in the market. After learning more about fisheries and gaining expertise, I thought of culturing fish and producing on my own. So, I started saving capital and, in 2014, I leased some ponds with BDT 20,000 for three years. It was a huge step for me because I did not know if it would work out or not. I prepared the ponds with proper measurements and released the fingerlings. Fortunately, my production was very good. I earned a good amount of profit from that, and it gave me further confidence to continue my journey.
Next, I thought of expanding my business. So, in 2018, I opened a feed shop in the market where I started to sell poultry & fish feed and medicines. The sales from the shop are also satisfactory. The monthly fish feed sales are around 10-15 tonnes, and poultry feed sales are around 8-10 tonnes. On the fisheries side, from the 8 leased ponds, I acquired 5 more to increase my production and added a poultry farm to diversify my portfolio. My farm has grown significantly in the last couple of years.
Then came the Covid-19 pandemic. In the last one and a half years, I did encounter some issues in my poultry sales. I suffered a loss of BDT 6,00,00 in just 15 days because of very low prices. However, the fish market was stable throughout the pandemic. On the weekly Haat bazaars, I sold the fish at the regular price. That’s why I didn’t have to incur a loss in fisheries. So, overall, the pandemic was not a terrible experience compared to many other entrepreneurs and farm owners.
I always try to attend training programs because they offer valuable insights into the market and business management. The training seminars from LightCaslte Partners and WorldFish were crucially helpful for me. They made me realize that I can organize my production methods more efficiently. Now, I plan to lease an 8-acre and a 10-acre pond to increase my production. On top of that, I want to build a warehouse for my fish production. I hope everything will work out well enough, and I will continue to run the business for a long time.