By Siti Fauziah Hasan
SEREMBAN, Nov 22 -- The Negeri Sembilan Department of Fisheries (JPNS) is committed to making the state a 'national giant freshwater prawn farming valley’ in view of the high market demand for it.
Its director, Halimi Abu Hanip said his team was now actively providing technical advisory services and contributing livestock input to the freshwater prawn farmers in a focused and targeted manner, including conducting research to produce quality freshwater prawn seeds in collaboration with the Glami Lemi Fisheries Research Institute (FRI) here.
“Actually, the intention to make this state a giant freshwater prawn farming valley has been planned for three years because of its high potential in Negeri Sembilan. So our efforts have been continuous and enhanced towards achieving that.
"Many things need to be done to ensure it runs smoothly, such as encouragement to the breeders, good irrigation system and pool management knowledge, adding suitable land for new ponds as well as capital resources and quality freshwater prawn seeds," he told Bernama today.
He said giant freshwater prawn is a high-value species and a popular livestock farmed in Negeri Sembilan, especially in Kuala Pilah and Jelebu, as the market price could reach RM65 to RM70 per kg.
Commenting further, he said giant freshwater prawn production in Negeri Sembilan last year saw rose to 64.66 tonnes compared to only 64.05 tonnes in 2018 and 43.01 tonnes in 2017.
However, there was a significant drop in this year’s production following the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said so far there were nearly 50 giant freshwater prawn farmers in the state and he expects an increase in the number of breeders and yields next year when the country's economy recovers from the effects of COVID-19.
Asked about measures to help farmers who find it difficult to market their livestock products due to the pandemic, he said the JPNS remained in close contact with them and was actively promoting their giant freshwater prawn sales through various platforms, including social media.
"We also purchased giant freshwater prawn seeds from farmers for the purpose of releasing them into public waters and, through these efforts, reduce the burden of farmers to some extent," he said.
Halimi said the RM100 million allocation for high-impact agriculture and livestock projects such as giant freshwater prawn farming as announced under Budget 2021 could strengthen the sector in all the states, including Negeri Sembilan.
"Through the budget provided and with the cooperation of the state government, it is hoped that the production of giant freshwater prawns in Negeri Sembilan can be revived and doubled so that it can achieve an output of more than 100 metric tonnes a year," he said.
Malaysian National News Agency
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