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Prawn Farming Project for Batticaloa

SRI LANKA - Arrangements are in place to initiate a prawn farming project in the Batticaloa district which will help bring in a good export revenue.

The DailyNews reports that previously there was a good income from prawn farming carried out in the Puttalam district. However, it was destroyed due to wrong decisions and following informal methods, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said.

The minister was addressing the opening ceremony of the brackish water prawn breeding centre built in Puthukudirippu, Batticaloa.

The Aquatic Resources Development and Quality Improvement Project is implemented with Asian Development Bank loans. The National Aquaculture Development Authority (NAQDA) monitors this breeding centre project, he added.

Around 2,839 hectares from seven divisional secretariats in the Batticaloa district had been identified for prawn farming and its pilot projects are launched in 150 acres in Walachchenai, Ottimawadi and Kokkadicholai. Around Rs.80 million has been spent on the prawn breeding centre. It aims to provide 200 baby prawns yearly. The newly built prawn breeding centre will be managed by the King Aqua Services (PVT) Ltd.

In addition, a prawn farm will be established in Wakarai Wattawan, Batticaloa in 49 hectares. Under this programme ponds will be provided to 27 fishery families and one pond will be 1.5 hectares.

A model prawn farm will be established in six hectares and infrastructure facilities in all these areas will also be developed. The ministry is to spend around Rs.70 million on these development projects. A model prawn farm had already been established near the Air Force Camp in Puthur, Batticaloa and the ministry spent Rs.11 million for this. Resettlement Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan, Eastern Provincial Council Member S. Prashanthan, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry Secretary Dr Damitha De Soyza and a number of delegates also participated.

Lucy Towers

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