Challenges and Opportunities for Giant Freshwater Prawn Culture through Participatory Learning and Fish Farmer Engagements

Tambalque III, Hermogenes S., Maripaz L. Perez, Plutomeo M. Nieves, et al. 2015. "Challenges and Opportunities for Giant Freshwater Prawn Culture through Participatory Learning and Fish Farmer Engagements." Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development 12(1): 35-52.

This paper provides a review of on-farm studies conducted to explore the viability of giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii, locally known as ulang), culture in six regions in the Philippines. We adopted a participatory action learning approach aimed at improving pond productivity through engagement of 17 small-scale fish-farmer cooperators to adopt different ulang culture systems—ulang monoculture, ulang-rice polyculture, and ulang-tilapia polyculture. This paper focuses on comparing the production and profitability of ulang monoculture and ulang-tilapia polyculture.

The cooperators were guided to follow proper protocols in pond preparation, feeding, and water management. Results showed an average survival rate of 65 percent for ulang monoculture; and 59 percent and 77 percent survival rates for ulang and tilapia in polyculture system, respectively. The major problems encountered across regions were unavailability of post-larvae; distance of post-larvae source; water availability; presence of predators; and inconsistent implementation of technical interventions by the cooperators. This paper also presents research and policy recommendations toward sustainable development of freshwater prawn culture which include establishment of a network of hatcheries and broodstock development; technology promotion and extensions services; and improving value chains and market strategy.

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