The mud crab, also known as mangrove crab that is heavily cultivated in the coastal regions will now see a new direction. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has recently completed a feasibility study in order to introduce the crab rearing in the brackish water ponds of Krishna district. This is a part of Marine Products Export Development Authority’s (MPEDA) big initiative to promote mud crabs.
This exercise was undertaken as part of the project proposed to improve the livelihood options for farmers engaged in aquaculture in the district and NABARD will extend financial assistance. The project mainly aims at making crab cultivation in aqua ponds viable as these species are available only in mangrove forest and survives in brackish waters. Promotion of mangrove crab cultivation and Asian Seabass variety are a few areas of project worth Rs. 2 crore, as per the sources.
Several trained members of NABARD, such as Sneha, an NGO are working on aquaculture, in the areas of cultivation methods and other marketing strategies at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA), Pondicherry since July.
“The RGCA experts have trained us in technical aspects such as feeding, site selection, and growth monitoring and marketing strategies and other cultivation aspects of crab culture in brackishwater ponds,” said Sneha Director M. Nageswara Rao, while speaking to a leading newspaper daily.
On the other hand, the Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture, Chennai, has demonstrated success in cultivation of mud crab by involving Yanadi tribes in brackish water ponds located in the mangrove forest in Nagayalanka. According to the CIBA experts, Sylla seretta is being exported to South East Asian countries from Chennai and the exports fetch as much as Rs. 1,200 a kg in domestic market in Indian cities as well.