Video ownership: World Fish Center
Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the video channel)
Gher is a Bangla word used for the physical construction made for traditional growing of giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) in an impounded environment such as in paddy fields. Gher farming in Bangladesh started as a small venture in “Bagherhat” district before spreading throughout Bangladesh although still most of the activity is concentrated in the Southwestern part of the country. The adoption of Ghers in the Southwestern Bangladesh was adopted by some progressive farmers who got encouraged by the availability of freshwater prawn post larvae in the costal environment.
In order to initiate a “goher farming”, the small ditches in paddy fields are converted in to canals with more than a meter depth to hold water during the dry season. In general, less than 50 % of the area is used for canals while the rest of the area is used for growing paddy. Quite often, snail meat has been used for feeding the stocked prawn.
As the “Goher” has spread further, the system turned to be less profitable to some farmers mainly due to the heavy cost of feed and low productivity especially in case of small farmers with little or no experience. Emerging farming problems called for the support from international organizations whereas the focus has been placed on target beneficiaries with less than two acre of land and socially vulnerable groups. The key objectives of aid projects are to assist farmers to adopt sustainable “Goher” farming practices and build their technical capacity through training in order to derive benefits from this promising system.