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Report, 2019

Commercial shrimpfarming in south-west Bangladesh

Sircar, Srilata


Since the mid-1980s commercial shrimp-farming has expanded exponentially in coastal Bangladesh, with a focus on the south-western districts of Khulna, Satkhira, and Bagerhaat. Majority of these farms cultivate saline-water shrimps while some also cultivate fresh-water prawns. These products have come to be known as ‘white gold’ in the popular discourse because of their high profitability and capacity to bring in foreign exchange. The shrimp sector has been highly promoted by both the national government and the international lending agencies. It constitutes one of the largest exports from Bangladesh, alongside garments and textiles. However, since the early 1990s there have also been recurrent concerns regarding the environmental and socio-economic impacts of this large-scale commercial shrimp-farming. While on one hand the sector has undoubtedly generated high incomes for a certain segment of shrimp-farmers, it has also in parallel led to decreasing mangrove cover, loss of biodiversity, increasing soil-salinity, and disruptions in the agricultural resource-dependent traditional way of life. This study provides a synthesis of the existing literature surrounding these themes. It further attempts to highlight the opportunities for policy interventions that can be beneficial for the core stakeholders of the AgriFoSe 2030 project i.e. smallholders and women farmers.


shrimp-farming; Bangladesh

Published in

AgriFoSe2030 Report
2019, number: 14
eISBN: 978-91-576-9640-3
Publisher: SLU Global, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Sircar, Srilata
Lund University

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

URI (permanent link to this page)