Prawn to Run: Scientists Pioneer Fast-Growing Shrimp for Farmers
Government researchers have developed a hardier type of commercially farmed shrimp that is cheaper and faster to produce by crossbreeding local varieties with broodstock from the United States, officials said.
Indu Vannamei Nusantara I shrimp was developed by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries’ research office in Situbondo, East Java, by combining vannamei broodstock from the US state of Florida with local varieties.
The first commercial IVN-I shrimp production was under way on Friday in two centers in Situbondo and Karangasem, Bali, to be distributed to domestic farmers.
Shrimp cultivation is one of the country’s most important fishery-related commodity sectors, with $690.3 million worth of exports flowing to the United States in 2007, or roughly 30 percent of total national shrimp exports of $2.3 billion.
IVN-I “is highly resistant to shrimp disease and can be harvested faster for a more affordable price,” Made L. Nurdjana, the ministry’s director general of aquaculture, said on Thursday.
Shrimp farmers will be able to buy one pair of IVN-I broodstock for only Rp 50,000 ($4.85) to Rp 75,000, he said. That is about 16 percent to 18 percent of the cost of US broodstock.
“The more affordable the broodstock is, the less farmers have to pay to buy shrimp fry,” he said. “By using new varieties, for example, farmers will only have to pay Rp 15 per shrimp fry. This can reduce production costs.”
The price of a pair of Florida shrimp broodstock is Rp 300,000 to Rp 400,000, forcing farmers to pay Rp 35 for each fry. During their life cycle, a pair of high quality broodstock are able to produce 700,000 shrimp fry.
The crossbreed, Made said, can be harvested in three and a half months, a half month less than the Florida variety, so savings on feed are significant. The new variety is also better suited to Indonesia’s weather and is considerably more resistant to disease.
Domestic shrimp farms require about 900,000 to 965,000 of vannamei broodstock per year.
To satisfy demand, Indonesia still must import about 320,000 vannamei parents, mostly from the United States, while most of the remaining 643,000 is produced domestically.
Iwan Sutanto, chairman of the Indonesian Shrimp Club, praised the development of the broodstock, which smaller breeders will be able to produce. “This could push smaller breeders to develop new varieties and reduce national dependency on bigger companies,” Iwan said on Thursday.