The government of Bangladesh has allowed the cultivation of hybrid white shrimp but lack of modern technology are depriving the country of earnings over US$2.0 billion in exports a year. In mid 90s the government had imposed a aban on this cultivation for its white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), which spread many countries in the world.
According to the Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association (BFFEA), countries like India, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia have increased shrimp production through cultivating white shrimp, thus raising their forex earnings. Bangladesh has huge potential to grow traditional shrimp (Bagdha) and with proper technology it can earn huge amount.
BFFEA statistics showed that Bangladesh has over 1,50,000 hectares of shrimp cultivable land which is more than that of India and three times higher than Thailand. President of BFFEA, Kazi Shanewaz, said that despite repeated requests to the government to lift the ban on farming white shrimp, they did not yet get any positive response in this regard.
Shanewaz also said that though they have got enough orders, they have been refusing letters of credits (LCs) regularly due to supply side constraints. Executive Director of BFFEA, Md Abul Bashar, said that the country would be able to boost foreign currency earnings significantly within a couple of years if the government allowed cultivation of hybrid shrimp.