Press Release & Industry News
Myanmar Prawn Exports Could Reach $1bn
Exports from Myanmar’s ailing prawn industry could be worth $1 billion per year by 2022 if it adopts a disease resistant strain of the crustacean from Hawaii in the United States, according to industry leaders.
U Kyaw Tun Myint, chairman of the Myanmar Shrimp Association, said at an industry meeting last month that Myanmar could reduce its trade deficit by 25 percent if it reached its targets for prawn production.
Marine Genetic LLC, a marine laboratory based in the United States, is planning to trial breed specific-pathogen-free (SPF) prawns in Myanmar with the aim of distributing to the local market, the February 22 meeting heard.
Myanmar predominantly farms black tiger prawns at its inland farms but the industry is struggling with the high costs of importing shrimp larvae from Thailand and disease that has spread through the country’s prawn stocks.
Marine Genetic LLC has set up the Best Burma company to launch the trial breeding of five million SPF prawns in Rakhine State and Ayeyarwaddy Region.
It will also share bios security systems, farming management techniques and aeration techniques with local breeders, said Dr Jim Wyban, a prawn genealogist and breeder at Marine Genetic LLC.
SPF prawns grow in both fresh and salt water, have higher survival rates and can grow up to 20 grams in their first 100 days. They can also tolerate a higher population density, up to 1.5 kilograms of prawns per square metre, which is beneficial for smaller-scale local breeders.
Prawns make up 86 percent of the global fishery market, said Wyban, adding that to capitalise on this Myanmar breeders must raise the productivity of their prawn businesses.
U Hnin Oo, vice-chairman of Myanmar Fish Federation (MFF), said Myanamr’s reliance on Thailand for larvae was also hindering the industry.
“We urgently need to develop prawn larvae breeding capabilities,” he said.
The MFF has urged the government to include the prawn industry in its export strategy, he added.
Myanmar prawn exports reached $400 million in 2016, while regional neighbours Thailand and Vietnam earned a combined total of $6 billion from shrimp exports in the same year.
Source: Myanmar Business Today