Sprawling over 1.5 acres, the farm has 60 tanks with mechanically controlled temperature and oxygen level that can help grow 50 tons of fish or prawns annually for the local as well as the foreign markets.

Biofloc technology (BT) is a fish farming system that recycles waste nutrients as fish food. Biofloc, specifically cultured microorganisms, are introduced into the water to form microbial protein from toxic fish waste and other organic matter in the water. This helps maintain water quality as well as lowers cost.

Earlier, BT was adopted as pilot projects on small scale in Sindh, and finally, a commercial organisation ‘As-Sammak’ established it on a large scale.

As-Sammak is also providing consultancy and cooperation in the construction of BT fish farm. The founder and chairman of the As-Sammak Shaukat Hussain said that BT fish farming can overcome the demand of local market and export.

Hussain said investment on a BT fish tank was Rs270,000 which could be covered in two years subject to sales. Once the initial cost is covered, the margin of profit escalates, he explained.

BT fish farming involves using fish waste as fish feed, therefore cost of commercial feed is excluded from operational expenses, he said.

Currently, they were focusing on fish but plan on raising shrimps and prawns in the future, Hussain said adding these are export items which can earn much needed foreign exchange for the country.

He said that biofloc farming can play a role in poverty alleviation and reducing malnutrition in Sindh. “World Bank is also taking interest in these projects with the cooperation of Sindh government to support farmers for biofloc farms,” Hussain said.

He also said that in the first week of May, team of World Bank visited Karachi and examined biofloc farm projects. Sindh government and World Bank are in talks to support farmers in biofloc farms projects and feasibility is under preparation in this regard.

Copyright:  The Express Tribune