Living in Khulna, I always saw aquaculture farms around my locality. We own some lands and ponds outside our house. My father used the ponds to cultivate carps and galda prawns. I learned a thing or two about fish culture from my father. However, I wanted to try something new, and that’s why I started my own farm named after my daughter.
In 2018, I used some of the ponds to start cultivating bagda prawns. As my father did not try this type of culture before, it was relatively new to me. However, I wanted a fresh start. So, I took a loan of around BDT 4,50,000 from some banks for my initial investment. After that, I increased the depth of the ponds, bought a generator and other necessities to start my culture. I gave my full effort from day one.
However, I had to face some difficulties because of my inexperience. There were mango trees around the pond, and the leaves often fell on the water. I tried my best to clear the leaves, but few of them wandered around. It made the water polluted with gas, and most of my fish production was affected by it. All the investment went in vain. That’s how I made a huge loss. Still, I believed that the hardships would not remain forever.
In the upcoming year, my production of bagda prawn was satisfactory. I learned from my previous experience and did not face any major challenges in my aquaculture venture. The total production was around 790 Kg, which is massive. I made a profit of around BDT 4,50,000 from the total production. Because of the good number of fish and price, I regained my confidence to continue my journey.
But again, in 2020, I faced some complications due to the Covid-19 situation. I invested in some projects other than my fish culture where I lost some money. That’s why I had to halt my fish cultivation. Meanwhile, many of the farm owners faced huge losses because of the pandemic since the demand and price of the fish fell. However, I did not have to go through any complications as I had stopped the fish culture.
This year, until now, has been better than the previous year. The demand is increasing, and markets are becoming active. I am yet to start the culture as of this moment. Hopefully, in January, next year, I will start the production and get a good profit out of it.
I attended a training program in Jessore hosted by LightCastle Partners. Although the experience lasted for a few hours, I felt encouraged by their initiative to push rural entrepreneurs. For my future, I don’t have any particular projects in mind. I will expand my business if I get the right opportunity. But the only thing I want in life is to live happily with my family. I hope I can fulfill my daughter’s dreams and make my father proud.