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Meet the farmer: Subhajit Mondal

6 July 2021, at 8:00am

Subhajit Mondal is a young entrepreneur who started working with Pasupati Aquatics Private Limited in 2014. Since then, he has taken the company to dazzling heights and has become one of the largest exporters of shrimp in West Bengal, India.

What is your name, age, role and country of operation?

My name is Subhajit Mondal, I’m 38 and I’m Director of Pasupati Aquatics Private limited in Henria Atmarampur, in Eastern India.

Man standing next to an outdoor shrimp pond
Subhajit Mondal began farming shrimp in 2008

© Gurvinder Singh

How long have you been farming for?

I have been farming shrimp with my father since 2008 and have been working with Pasupati Aquatics, a major shrimp exporter, since 2014.

What size is your farm and what species do you produce?

The farm size is almost 100 hectares. We produce around 600 to 700 tonnes of whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) each year.

What sort of production system do you operate?

We buy seedlings and then we store in the ponds. We have culture system where it takes 90-100 days for growth.

Shrimp farm with earthen ponds and multiple paddle wheels
Pasupati Aquatics shrimp farm is nearly 100 hectares and produces over 600 tonnes of shrimp each year

© Gurvinder Singh

Why did you decide to embark on a career in aquaculture?

Every industry depends on the geographical factors of that particular area. I found that our region had great potential for aquaculture as it is a coastal area. I decided to work in this sector.

What’s your ultimate ambition in the sector?

My aim is to sustain the industry and create large-scale employment as shrimp farming is mostly done in rural areas. The growth of industry will give more people livelihoods. I also want to train more people in aquaculture by involving technology to bring down the cost of production. The increasing revenue would obviously be economically beneficial to farmers.

What’s your biggest worry at work?

It’s a livestock business and everything is done under water. We invest big money and also finance the farmers. If anything happens to farmers or ponds, we would face consequences as well. We try our best to ensure that the farmers manage the ponds properly by taking adequate measures.

Person holding seven shrimp in their hand
Mondal's farming operations have increased significantly since 2014

© Gurvinder Singh

We also have to depend on international market trends when it comes to exports and if anything happens there, it will affect us.

What’s your greatest achievement to date?

We have significantly increased our production volumes and generated direct employment for around 1,500 people. We also have over 1,500 farmers working with us on a contract basis.

When I started at Pasupati Aquatics in 2015, we exported 25 containers of shrimp (18 tonnes in each container) each year. Now, we have increased our exports to 300 containers per year.

What piece of equipment would you most like to have on your farm?

We need access to round-the-clock power to ensure that the shrimp do not die if we face a power outage. We also need testing kits for water, soil and shrimp quality.

What’s your favourite seafood dish?

Butterfly shrimp.

If you would like to be considered for taking part in this Fish Site series, please contact megan@hatch.blue with the details of your farm.