Thousands of people in the coastal areas of the district are now involved in catching crabs and its cultivation as the profitable item can be produced well in small areas and at low cost.
The crab catchers collect the item throughout the year from canals, beels and rivers in the coastal areas, especially newly emerged chars in Subarnachar and Hatia upazilas.
“But we do not get fair price for our catches as we take advance money as loan from the wholesalers,” said Haripada Das, a crab collector at Kamal Bazar in Mohammadpur union of Subarnachar.
Mohammad Rahim Uddin, another crab catcher of Bangla Bazar area in Char Clarke union of the same upazila, said he cannot make much headway in the business due to lack of adequate capital.
The collectors sell big-sized crabs in the market and small ones to the farm owners.
The young crabs are reared in the hatcheries and small ghers (enclosures) for 15 to 16 days when they get matured.
Visiting different markets in the coastal areas it was found that a kg of crab is sold for Tk 400 to Tk 1000, depending on their size.
“Crab farming is a very profitable business. Many people would be interested in the trade if easy term bank loans are provided for the purpose,” said Ratan, who maintains a crab gher at Nijhum Dwip in Hatia.
Dr Abdul Motaleb, district fisheries officer, said, “If proper training and loan facilities are provided, crab farming will spread rapidly and the export item will bring huge foreign currency.”