How to Make Money from Prawn Rearing Business

Introduction to make money from prawn rearing business

Prawn rearing is one of the best profitable businesses in aquaculture. The little study is required before starting though. The risk factor is high for anyone who doesn’t have proper knowledge or experience. Don’t worry; you are in the right place to know some basic information before you start. Now, let us see the ideas to make money from the prawn rearing business in India.

Ideas to start and make money from prawn rearing business

Prawn is also termed as shrimp in some areas. Rearing prawns will give you more profits in small-scale businesses too. The atmosphere at the farm will play a vital role in the success or failure of the prawn rearing business. Soil, weather, and water are the key factors to get success in this business.

There are many species of prawns but all are not suitable for farming. Only a few larger ones are cultivated. Most of the species are too small to be profitable or can stop growing if crowded together in ponds. Two species which are dominating the market are

  • Vannamei: mainly cultivated in western countries. It grows up to 23cm. It is easy to breed in captivity
  • Tiger prawn: can be found in the Indian or Pacific ocean. It can grow up to 36cm. This is the largest of all cultivated prawns. Due to its susceptibility to white spot disease, it is gradually being replaced by Vannamei

What you should think about before starting?

Here is the list of things you should be prepared within the shrimp farming business.

  1. Pond preparation
  2. Water
  3. Aerators
  4. Shrimp seeds
  5. Feed
  6. Minerals

Let’s dig little deep into these concepts to know better

  1. Pond preparation

Indoor or outdoor farming, you need a pond to raise prawns. It is considerably better to start on more than 2acre of land to get good returns on investment. So, if you have land you are ready to go. Else, these days we are getting lands for lease as well for this culture.

Once we got the land we need to dig the pond. The ideal measurement for the ponds to raise shrimp is 6 feet depth. In the olden days, these kinds of diggings used to happen with hard labor. Nowadays lots of machinery available which do the job and charge an hourly basis.

  1. Water source

This normally depends on what kind of prawns we want to raise on your own shrimp. We will need fresh water if we want to go with shrimp that lives with fresh water. If we want to raise sea prawns then we need saltwater. For both kinds, you will have to plan for a water source, like a borewell.

Once we got the water source we need to fill the pond of 6feet depth with 5 feet full of water. We will get minerals as well which we must mix in water to support shrimp growth. If we are planning for sea prawns then we have to plan to mix salt for the prawns to survive. We should regularly check water salinity and pH level to support the prawn we are raising.

  • Water temperature should be in between 65 and 95oF
  • Water hardness or alkalinity 20 to 150 PPM
  • Water pH below 9.0
  • Dissolved oxygen must be above 3.0 ppm
  1. Aerators

A good flow of oxygen is required for shrimp survival and growth. This can be done only with mechanical aerators. These aerators help in keeping the water temperature in its optimal state and also facilitate maintaining a healthy pH level. This will keep the shrimps healthy.

One important thing to consider here is, you might have to plan for power supply as well based on the pond size. You will need 4 aerators for a 1-acre pond.

  1. Shrimp seeds

This is also called as post-larvae (pl). Based on the size of the pond, we have to get the shrimp seeds. Normally 1.5Lakh seeds are good enough per 1acre land. The size of the pl which is considered shrimps chronological age should be 8pl to 12pl.

Note: You must remember only 80% survival rate will be there by the time you harvest. Because there is a chance of death rate. If we properly monitor and maintain 80% is for sure.

  1. Feed

Along with water mineral levels, feed is the most important thing for shrimp growth. Based on this the size of the shrimp depends by the time you harvest. There are a lot of prawn feed companies available for this. Normally this feed is pellet which includes fish oil or fish meal that ensures prawn healthy and fast growth.

1 lakh prawn seed can consume 1.5ton of this feed in 3 months of the time period.

  1. Minerals

A lot of minerals like Zinc (to maintain dietary level), Copper (for feed efficiency), Selenium (for high mortality), Cadmium (for hyperactivity) are required in the water. Nowadays all these are available in the form of bags.

The investment and cost to start a prawn rearing business in India

In case if you miss this: How to Make Money from Clove Oil Manufacturing.

The cost to start a prawn rearing business.
The cost to start a prawn rearing business.

The initial investment for prawn rearing business would be from 3 to 5lakh including seed, feed, medical expenses, and equipment, etc. This will vary based on the size of the pond. The major cost here is for equipment like aerators sets and backup generators they should be a must in this culture. You can rent this equipment as well if you want. But it is better to buy if you have any idea to continue this prawn culture business. Let us go to little calculations on an average.

  • Pond digging – 2000 per hour (hours depends on the size of land)
  • Bore for water –           up to 1 Lakh
  • Aerators –           1 aerator cost up to 40K
  • Shrimp seed –           1Lakh seed can cost between 50K to 60K
  • Feed –           1ton can cost up to 75K
  • Other Minerals –           can go from 1Lakh to 3 Lakh(this also depends on the size of land)

How much we can earn in prawn rearing business?

If all goes well, you will get very good profits in this business. This depends on how many prawns will count per kg. Less count will get more money. Which means, size of the prawn matters. If the prawn is big and weighs more, then count per kg reduces, and cost increases. As mentioned, we must remember to have an 80% survival rate by the time of harvesting. If you put 1.5Lakh seed in the pond then you will get 1.3Lakh while harvesting.

If good quality pellet feeds provided to prawns, the average final size after 6 months of culture will be at 3/meter sq. density would be 45 to 50g. The final survival rate of prawns would be 70 to 80%. Production may range from 400 to 500 kg per acre. The profit ratio of prawn would be 1:1.5 or 1:2, sometimes you can get 1:3 if you are lucky.  That is if you invest 5Lakh, you may get 7.5L or 10Lakh or even 15Lakh in return if all goes good

Marketing of prawns in India

To get the most profit, the local market sale is the most profitable for freshwater shrimp. The highest price can be captured with direct-sold from the pond. Advance marketing is essential in order to attract customers to the pond site. The goals should be as follows:

  • Fresh un-processed prawns
  • Large prawns
  • Customer service and convenience
  • Sale of associated items and services for added value

But, we cannot possibly sell tons of prawns extracted from ponds in the local market. So, wholesale sales are the solution here. Usually, prawns will export to different countries. These wholesale are little low priced compared to local market sales. Wholesale usually requires processing and storage in iceboxes. Larger farms will use wholesale markets to see the remaining crop after local sales have been satisfied. We should carefully identify the shrimp enterprise in the wholesale market before entering. In the business plan, market planning should be the first step.

Some tips to make money from prawn rearing business

  • Regular water minerals checks should be a must. If minerals levels require for prawn growth is low then the mortality rate increases.
  • White gut, running mortality & white spot diseases (virus) are the main risks in this culture. Should be very careful in pond maintenance. Regular medicines like probiotics and minerals should be applied.
  • Arrange nets for the pond. Birds normally use this kind of pond as their food source. Else, you can hire someone to monitor 24/7 and make noise when you find birds to scare them, a little tedious process.
  • Water should be replaced regularly. Freshwater is very important. It can be done like, drain 1-foot water and fill it again and continue.
  • Do not harvest until you get at least 100 prawns per kg. That will give you a good return on investment.
  • Make sure per week 2.5 to 3gm weight growth should be there. We need to update the feeding based on the weight.

List of pros in shrimp aquaculture

  • Source of food for people
  • Source of income
  • Flexibility
  • Helps waste problems 

List of cons in shrimp aquaculture

  • Propagation of invasive species
  • A threat to coastal ecosystems
  • Contaminates water and threatens the health
  • Affects wild fish population
  • Impact on the environment

The bottom line to make money from prawn rearing

To ensure an ecologically sustainable and economically viable aquaculture industry, the government’s recent approaches in controlling aquaculture development gives an excellent opportunity for the prawn industry to boom in. This is an excellent business to start. We must plan it well before starting though. Understand the business. Talk to experts and get some ideas. Recruiting an expert is one of the best options. They can plan well in reducing the investment with more survival rate. At least 5 to 10 percent of the cost can be reduced with an experienced person on board.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here