Prawn Farming – A Beginners Guide

Prawn Farming (Picture Source -
Prawn Farming (Picture Source -

Prawn Farming:

Introduction To Prawn Farming

Freshwater prawn farming is little difficult for new start-ups, especially who do not have experience in the farming sector. However, it’s wonderful small-scale farming business that can fetch hefty profits in case of experienced farmers. Prawn is also known as “Shrimp” in many parts of the world. The aquaculture prawn farming is booming in most of the Asian countries as the local and export markets have excellent demand. Prawns can be taken up as large scale business (commercial shrimp farming) or small-scale prawn business depending on experience and capital investment. Prawns can be raised in outdoor freshwater tanks and ponds. Prawns even can be grown in backyard water bodies. There two types of prawn cultures can be reared. saltwater prawn farming and freshwater prawn farming. Freshwater prawn farming shares many characteristics along with problems with salt water or marine prawn farming. The giant freshwater prawn culture is suitable for tropical and subtropical climatic conditions. A freshwater prawn farming is similar to a freshwater fish farming. You can stock the freshwater prawns into reservoirs, ponds, irrigation ditches, cages, pens and natural water sources. We can say, cage and pen culture is experimental, while the prawn farming from irrigation ditches is very low. With perfect prawn business plan and shrimp marketing strategies, one can obtain decent profits in commercial prawn farming. Well, before starting a commercial prawn farming, you should talk to your local aquaculture authorities for required permits and business licenses to operate this. In this write-up, let us go into detail information of how to grow freshwater prawn in tanks or ponds.

Types of Prawns

The following are some of the common shrimp varieties cultivated across the globe.

  • Giant Freshwater Prawn.
  • Brown Shrimp.
  • Humpy Shrimp.
  • Gulf Pink Shrimp.
  • Maine Shrimp.
  • Rock Shrimp.
  • Royal Red Shrimp.
  • Side stripe Shrimp.
  • Spot Prawns.
  • White Shrimp.
  • Tiger Prawns.
Tiger Prawns.
Tiger Prawns.

Indian Names of Prawn

  • English –
  • Hindi – Jinga.
  • Tamil –
  • Telugu – Royyalu
  • Malayalam – Chemmeen.
  • Kannada – Sigadi.
  • Bengali –
  • Konkani –
  • Marathi –
  • Tulu –

Nutrient Values and Health Benefits of Prawns

Health Benefits of Prawn.
Health Benefits of Prawn.

Prawns are low in fat, rich in proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin ‘D’, minerals like iron, calcium, and zinc.

  • Prawns are good for weight loss.
  • Prawns have Anti-Aging Properties.
  • Prawns are good for healthy hair.
  • Prawns may prevent heart disease since they have omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Prawns are good for bone health.
  • Prawns may prevent a certain type of cancers.
  • Prawns are good for brain health.

Note: Prawns also have side effects just like any other seafood. they contain mercury and can cause allergies. Contact your primary care physician before consuming them.

Technical Requirements Of Prawn Farming

  • Location Selection in Prawn Farming: Site selection in any prawn business plan plays a major role in successful prawn farming. Before selecting an ideal site for your prawns, consider the following.
    • Topography of the area
    • Soil type,
    • Quality water availability
    • Pollution free surroundings
    • Good transportation/Road facilities.
  • Soil Quality in Prawn Farming: Soil quality should be good for the healthy growth of prawns. The ideal soil types for raising prawn are a clay silt mixture or sandy loam comprising of 60% sand and 40% silt. These soils should have a good water retention capabilities. Commercial prawn farmers can send the soil for soil testing. You should take soil from 6 different places in the intended pond and mix all the soil and let it dry. You can send this soil to soil testing lab in your city.
  • Breed Selection: Selection of prawn breed in any commercial prawn farming is vital as it directly impacts profits and market demand. Select high yielding and low maintenance breed that can fetch good profits in prawn farming. you should conduct some market research on prawn farming in your local area to find out good demand breed. If you are planning to export to other countries or states apart from selling in your locality, you must get a complete picture of high demand prawn varieties. You can get Prawn breeds from certified hatcheries.
  • Water Quality in Prawn Farming: Ensure there is an abundant quality water available at the selected location. Never use dirt or polluted water in your pond. You should maintain ideal water pH of 7 to 8.5 in the selected pond. Usually, the pond water temperature is maintained at 19°C to 35°C. However, the optimum temperature of 28°C to 32°C should be maintained for best growth and yield of prawns. Water treatment should be carried out for quality water supply to freshwater prawn culture.
  • Pond Construction or Water Body Preparation for Prawn Farming: It is preferred to build rectangular ponds or water bodies which are ideally suitable for prawn harvesting view. The size of the pond depends on a number of prawns being raised. It’s up to you to decide on size. Usually, 0.75 hectare to 1.5 hectares is good enough for commercial prawn farming. With 40 meters to 50 meters in width and convenient length (this length can be decided based on site, topography and prawn farm layout as per prawn farming business plan). When it comes to depth of the pond, one should maintain an average depth of 0.8 meters to 1.2 meters. You can maintain dike and pond slopes at 2:1 ratios. Ensure the bund have a freeboard of at least 60 to 70 cm above the highest water level in the pond or tank. You should design and layout freshwater prawn farm keeping based on water intake and water outlet. The farm should be designed with good water drainage system so that outlet water never mixes with fresh incoming water.
  • Water Supply and Drainage in Prawn Farming: Continuous clean and quality water supply and appropriate drainage system should be ensured for high growth and healthy prawns. To make this happen, select a location with good water body and topography. You may arrange pumping system and tube well for water exchange and intake. You have to make sure the water exchange is carried once in a week and make provisions accordingly.

Equipment  and Facilities Required for Freshwater Prawn Farming

  • Power supply.
  • Aerators.
  • Pumps.
  • Nets.
  • Transport trucks.
  • Fencing.
  • Storage facilities.
  • Feed disrticbutuon and Monitoring equipement.
  • Water quality checking equipement.
  • Other miscellinace equipement.

Stocking  and Feeding Requirement in Prawn Farming

Giant Prawn.
Giant Prawn.

Preparation of larvae and growing them at least for a month usually grown in nursery hatcheries. Buy good 1-month-old juvenile prawns from hatcheries to stock in the prepared ponds. Before stocking these, any insects and larva should be removed from ponds. You should not keep any fishes in the pond at time of stocking. Generally, 10,000 to 20,000 per 1 hectare should be stocked in the pond. But the stocking density of prawns may vary depending on many factors. When it comes to feeding, you should prepare a feed schedule for your baby prawns. They require 2 to 3 times feeding a day. Another important thing is, as prawn grows, more oxygen levels should be required along with the feed intake. Make sure to monitor pond oxygen levels and water quality on a constant basis. As prawn grows, increase feed quantity and aeration in the pond.

At desired density, your juvenile prawns hauled into grow-out ponds can find food themselves obviously from organisms growing in the pond. Start feeding whenever the shrimp exceed the weight of 5.0 g or higher. Industrial fish feed for channel catfish is acceptable for prawns. Feeding will be contingent on the size of your fish.

See the below table for prawn feed requirements.

Mean wet weight of prawns (grams)Daily feeding rate of your prawn
(% of body weight)
5 to 157 to 8
15 to 255

Management Of Freshwater Prawn Farm

The type of pond planning to be embraced prior to stocking relies on the form of culture and its intensity and nature of their culture pond. Liming of the pond assumes great importance here than in the case of freshwater fish culture. The use of fertilizers is limited in case pelletized feed is utilized. But, sometimes cow dung, single super phosphate, urea etc. can be applied in assessing the productivity.

Prawn Farming in Fresh Water Ponds.
Prawn Farming in Fresh Water Ponds.

The stocking density normally changes from 4000 to 50000 nos. Of post larvae per ha depending on the form and intensity of the administration practices. In case of polyculture with carps, the more pond thickness is preferred at 4 feet to 5 feet. In case of polyculture, the stocking density of prawn might change from 2500 to 20,000 postlarvae. The carp fingerlings may be of this order of 5000 – 2500 Nos. The nursery might be incorporated where the article larvae obtained from hatcheries could be reared for a period of 4 to 5 weeks until they attain 40 mm to 50 mm or 1 gram to 3 grams.

To be able to acquire the desired manufacturing, feeding, aeration, water exchange, periodic monitoring ought to be continued. The quality and type of feed derived from culture system. Macro-brachium using its omnivorous feeding habits can use a variety of feeds from common moist feed made from rice bran and oil cake to scientifically formulated pelleted feed. The speed of feeding is determined by the phase of development of prawn, water quality, the density of stock along with other manuring practices. Normally, the feeding rate may be 5% of their body weight.

The whole period of culture varies from 6 to 12 months depending on the sort of cultural practices. Generally, at monoculture, the culture period might be 6 to 9 months under monoculture and 9 to 12 months under polyculture. The average development of prawn may vary from 50 to 200 grams depending on the length, density, water quality, feeding etc.. The survival rate could range 50% to 70% depending on the type of management and cultural practices.

Diseases in Prawn Farming

Prawn production has been seriously impacted by diseases in the Asian continent. It’s quite normal to get diseases in prawns just like any other aquaculture species. However, you can incur heavy losses if don’t prevent the diseases in prawn farm. The following diseases are observed in prawn farming.

  • White Spot Syndrome.
  • Yellowhead Disease.
  • Taura Syndrome.
  • Infectious Hypodermal and Haematopoietic Necrosis.
  • Vibrio harveyi.

Contact department of fisheries for appropriate control measures of these viral and bacterial diseases.

Harvesting In Prawn Farming

Picking of prawns depends on market demand and growth rate. Generally, you can start harvesting prawns after 6 to 7 months of the stocking.  They weigh about 40 to 45 grams at this stage. You can reduce the prawn density in the pond by going for partial harvesting. Subsequently, you can carry out full harvesting by using nets or draining the complete pond.

Yield in Prawn Farming

The yield of Prawns depends on variety, stock density or area of cultivation, an age of prawns and other cultural practices.

Marketing in Prawn Farming

Local markets are best for selling prawns. However, quality and high-grade prawns have excellent demand in export markets. Export marketing of prawns fetches you good profits when compared to local marketing.

Economics Of Prawn Farming

Under ideal cultural practices of prawns, one can invest 75,000 rupees as an initial investment and can fetch 3 to 3.5 lack rupees in one harvest. Profits in prawn farming may vary based on demand, time of harvesting, climate and cultural practices.

Your fisheries department is the point of contact for any loans and subsidies provided for prawn farming business.

Read here about Fish Farming Business.

Read here about Goat Farming in India.


  1. Hello sir, I’m Ausban I want to start prawns farming but I don’t have any idea. Can you please provide me same more details for it.

  2. I need an experienced co.pany to establish an indoor shrimp farm, installing equipments, operation support, training….
    If you can help me with some names and contacts


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