Economics of Rohu (Labeo rohita) based carp polyculture in Bangladesh and necessity for genetic improvement programs


Room L2503, Wise Center

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Samsul Alam
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Department of Fisheries Biology and Genetics
Bangladesh Agricultural University

Rohu (Labeo rohita) based aquaculture contributes significantly in terms of income, nutrition, and employment generations in past decades in Bangladesh. The challenges and need for the development of rohu-based polyculture with a particular focus on profitability, yield gap, efficiency and risk, species preference, consumption, and nutritional perspective were assessed. This study uses the stochastic frontier production function, sensitivity analysis and Tobit regression to fulfill the objectives among a sample of 183 farms practicing rohu-based polyculture located in three districts of Bangladesh, namely Mymensingh, Rajshahi, and Jashore. The results reveal that rohu-based polyculture is profitable, though it changes with the alteration of feed price and fish price. The result of technical efficiency shows that the farmers are efficient; nevertheless, the sample farmers operate below the production frontier and hence that they still have a chance to achieve targeted yields. A yield gap exists due to the inefficiency of farmers and technical constraints (biotic and abiotic). However, the result indicates that abiotic factors are more responsible for losing yield than biotic factors in the study areas. In polyculture practice, most of the farmers prefer rohu as the main species on account of higher production, high demand, better feed conversion ratio and better flavour. Rohu alone contributes more than half to total fish consumption in the sampled household and have a significant contribution to daily protein requirements.  Therefore, feed price reduction and proper extension service need to be ensured for further development for the sustainability of this sector.

Three principal river systems of Bangladesh, including the Halda, the Jamuna, and the Padma, constitute the major natural habitats of the Indian major carps species, such as Rohu, Labeo rohita, Catla (Catla catla) and mrigal (Cirrhinus cirrhosis).  The genetic population structures of these major carp species have been analyed. We found significant loss in genetic variation in the hatchery stocks compared to the riverine stocks. We recommend a genetic-improvement program for the major aquaculture-contributing fish of Bangladesh and the region.