Pabda fish farming business commercially is getting popularity in Bangladesh, India, and other South-Asian countries. It is also known as Butter Catfish or Ompok pabda. As is an Indian freshwater catfish species with very good market demand, especially in the North-Eastern part of India, Bangladesh, and some other South Asian countries.
Ompok pabda an indigenous catfish belongs to the family Siluridae of the order Siluriformes. Catches of this fish have drastically declined from open waters like rivers, beels, haors, etc. in recent years due to various ecological changes in the inland water bodies and this fish is now considered an endangered species.
Importance of Pabda Fish Farming
Pabda is a soft fish with magnificently flavor Dil flesh. Pabda is also known as butterfish arrives from the buttery soft flesh and smooth skin of pabda fish. Being a small fish pabda is high on potassium, sodium, and magnesium to provide enough minerals to our body.
The pabda fish is usually farming in the ponds along with some other carp fish species such as Rui, Catla , and Mrigal. The commercial pabda fish farming business is more profitable than any other freshwater species and can be a commercially viable enterprise for the rural unemployed educated youth.
It also helps in reducing cholesterol level, heart problems, triglyceride levels also control blood pressure as Pabda is a reliable source of omega-3 fatty acids. Boost our immune system as it doesn’t contain much fat. Pabda is also a lean source of protein, with only 2 grams of fat per serving.
Pabda is considered an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
The commercial pabda fish farming business has not received much attention in recent years. But pabda fish farming has changed the aquaculture scenario in Bangladesh, and India.
The cultivation process commercially is not known to all, although researchers are trying to change this situation. And we hope to have more insights and modern techniques for breeding and larval rearing methods of pabda fish farming business commercially.
How to Start Pabda Fish Farming
At present pabda fish farming business in the freshwater pond is becoming popular gradually in Bangladesh, and India. Here we will try to provide information to you on learning and practicing more modern systems for commercial pabda fish farming business steps by steps.
1. Business Plan
The pabda fish farming business is not much difficult at all but more profitable. But anything is not so much easy to start a business commercially. To start a business commercially you have to develop a perfect business that is effective and realistic.
Generally, a perfect business plan is consisting of three parts which are the business model, operation model, and financial projections.
The business model for a successful pabda fish farming business plan depends on several factors, which may be defined as the scope of the business model. A business model must be foregrounded certain factors such as your management team, the procured land, and equipment.
An operation model of a pabda fish farm business plan is developed mainly for the structure and development of the project. The operation model focuses on the available facility and how the facility will operate.
Finally, a financial projection for a pabda fish farming business plan includes financial affirmations, as well as custom analytic power for future and profit prospects.
2. Site Selection
Secondly, you have to select a good site for starting pabda fish farming business commercially. It will be better if the chosen site is free from all pollution and noises, full sun access, and plane land.
You must avoid boggy, marshy, and heavy rainfall areas. The site will be at least a one-acre land area, although, in small scale production, you can choose any site or location for pabda fish farming business commercially.
3. Pond Design and Construction
After selecting the site you have to start with pond design and construction. Though earthen fish pond design depends on your available land type, modern fish farming also happened in plastic, fiber, glass, or concrete pond. At present huge numbers of fish, producers are raising pabda fish in smaller plastic or concrete tanks, fiber or tarpaulin pond using biofloc fish farming system.
4. Pond Preparation
Pond preparation is a comparatively difficult task. In the case of the new earthen pond, you have to maintain some strategies for the earthen fish pond to get better fish. But if you have a pond then it needs to be initially dry by using a motor pump for removal of weed fish and aquatic weed. The pond should be kept for a week for hardening of the pond bottom.
Liming of pond has to be done at the rate of 300 kg/Ha for correction of pH as the normal pH of the soil must be slightly alkalized before stocking of fishes. The optimum pH for fish culture is between7.5 to 8.5. Water is to be filled up to a depth of 1.5 meters and the source of water was from a bore well.
Manuring and fertilization are important for greening the pond naturally. Initial pond fertilization with Lime, Raw cow dung, Urea, and Single Superphosphate (SSP) at the rate of 300kg/Ha, 2000kg/Ha, 25kg/ha, and 30kg/ha respectively was done before seed stocking.
5. Seed Collection
Naturally pabda fish is a breeding catfish and you should collect the seed from natural water bodies. In the case of a commercial pabda fish farming business, you should better to collect from the suppliers. So you can also contact with suppliers who collect seed from the natural water bodies and sell it to the interested farmers. You may contact some people in your area who are already in this business.
The good news is that today some breeding hatcheries are producing and rearing pabda fish fingerlings commercially in Bangladesh and India.
6. Stocking in the Pond
Stock the pond with the fingerlings at 10000/he in the morning hours. The initial length and weight of the fishes must be recorded. Though you can stock the fingerlings directly into the pond you have to take care of it. The pabda fish can do well in high stocking densities, as a catfish species. One thing you have to remember that, for proper growth, you should not stock more than 25,000 fingerlings per acre pond.
The pabda fish consume food from the upper level of the pond. They are omnivorous and generally eat protozoa, aquatic insects, moss, etc. They also like to consume fishmeal or other supplementary fish feeds.
The different feed ingredients should be used which are rice bran, mustard oil cake, fish meal and, floating feed properly and at the right ratio. Feeding rate must be taken into consideration for better pabda fish farming business. But feeding rate mainly defines the amount of feed made available to the cultured organism.
The feeding rate or ration size is one of the difficult tasks in fabda fish farming in the pond. An optimum ration size is one that given the best growth. Under-feeding or a lower ratio results in poor growth and production.
Over-feeding results in wastage of feed and water quality deterioration. Ration size, therefore, need to be modified according to the size and age of the cultured organism. Today, commercial pabda fish feeds are also available.
8. Maintain Water Quality
Water quality parameter has a significant role in aquaculture. Fish are equilibrium with potential organisms and their environment. Changes in this chemical equilibrium, such as deterioration in water quality can result in fish becoming emphasized and defenseless to diseases. Therefore, it is important to know water treatment or water quality parameters and their management is necessary for better growth and survival. There is various kinds of physical and chemical water quality parameters like DO (Dissolved Oxygen), Temperature, pH, Salinity.
Generally one can expect to harvest the fish after 10-12 months of stocking them in the pond. But if you think that the market demand and desired size are in favor of you then you can harvest the fish at any time. You can use fishing nets for harvesting the pabda fish. In the case of a tank or cage, you just open the outlet pipe to decrease water and collect your fish.
Market demand is always high for pabda fish for its great testy. So don’t wary about demand you just harvest it and take it to market, though its demand is comparatively higher in town or city area. Generally, pabda fish is sold live and fresh in the desired market. So try to send the fish in the market immediately after harvesting to ensure a higher price of the fish.
Finally, you have to keep a record to find out your profit or loss. If there is a loss then the record will help you to the out the problem of the farming.
Pabda fish farming business requires comparatively less investment, but profit from this business is higher. At present pabda fish farming business can create a great opportunity for the people, especially for the unemployed educated youth.