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Monday, October 27, 2003

Compiled by SDNP

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Closed fresh water’ system to boost shrimp production

MIR MOSTAFIZUR RAHAMAN, The Independent

Ray of hope emerged among the shrimp cultivators of the southern region as harvesting from country's first ever 'closed fresh water' shrimp cultivation ponds inaugurated at Rampal in Bagerhat on Friday. This shrimp cultivation system has been acclaimed worldwide but in the country this had not been practiced due to the lack of the proper knowledge about it.

Under the 'closed fresh water' cultivation system the water of the shrimp pond has to be purified through clorination and other substances but in the traditional system the saline water of the tidal wave has been blocked without purification. The new system also requires a reservoir pond to inject water in the cultivation pond if the water level goes down below the required level.

The cultivators indicated that the productivity of the pond would be 10 times higher in the new system. In the traditional system the cultivators have not any specific idea regarding the release of the fry in their ponds but in the new system there is a measurement that how many fry to be released for a particular area.

It is learnt that the proper implementation of this new method country-wide would ensure the redoubling of the local shrimp production.Another unique point of the new system is that it would ensure a virus-free production. It may be mentioned that the local farmers have been seriously affected by the virus that destroyed almost all their production often.

The 'closed' fresh water shrimp cultivation system has been launched by the ATDP, a US based project last year. ATDP introduced the system under its Seal of Quality (S and Q) programme in Bagerhat last year.

Dr Nahmudul Karim, a renowned shrimp expert and the Executive Director of Bangladesh Shrimp Foundation said that under the new method the water of the pond is purified through clorination before the cultivation which ensured the virus-free production of shrimps. Under the traditional system shrimp cultivators used the natural water in their shrimp ponds that causes the spread of virus easily, he added.

Mostafa Kamal Patwari, nurul Huq Lipon and Mina Afzal Hossain who started cultivation through the 'closed' system in their ponds told this correspondent that they hoped that their productivity would be at least 10 times higher than the previous times when they followed traditional method. Mostafa Kamal had got special training on the 'closed' cultivation from Thailand under sponsorship of ATDP.

ATDP coordinator Sedric Randlof told this correspondent that the scenario of the shrimp sector would be drastically changed if the new system could be spreaded throughout the country.

The three shrimp cultivators said that during the three month cultivation period, they had been constantly advised by the ATDP fisheries experts.

The President of Bagerhat Shrimp Cultivators Cooperative Surendranath Sikdar, Ikhtiar Hossain, General Secretary and Sahidul Islam Bablu, Organising Secretary of the association were also present on the occasion.

Dr Mahmudul Karim pointed out that another major aspect of the industry is to ensure food safety and the new system would ensure that in the primary level which was not possible earlier in the traditional method.

He hoped that the other farmers would also come forward to adopt the system immediately.

'In the backdrop of the global competition the survival of the industry is dependent on quality assurance that comprises of food safety, labor and environment issue.

He said that new system would not do any harm to the environment as under this system the pond water remains always purified. "Even when there would be the need to pump out the water from the pond it would easily be purified as the water goes through a water reservoir" he opined.

Local shrimp supplier Panna also expressed his satisfaction following the harvesting. "I have financed in one of the project and now I am assured that I could make more profit under the new system than I made previously" he said.

He felt that the government should come forward immediately to promote the system as it would bring about a revolution in the second largest export industry.

Hundreds of cultivators who gathered in the function were also found surprised to see the volume of the production.

It is unbelievable, commented a shrimp cultivator of Belai who still following the traditional system. He informed that he had already contacted the ATDP technicians to help him introducing the new method. Among others ATDP directors Gobinda Bar and Mamunur Rahman were also present in the function.

ATDP prescribes the cultivators to conduct laboratory test of the samples for antibiotic residues before harvesting in future. Harvesting is not dependent on tidal cycle in the new system unlike the traditional culture.

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The Bangladesh Observer

BOGOTA, Oct 26:–Attacks by Colombian rebels killed at least 13 people Saturday, casting a violent shadow over voting on key reforms President Alvaro Uribe hopes will help fight corruption and insurgency, reports AFP.

 

Rebels had threatened to disrupt the voting on 15 proposed administrative reforms, including whether to reduce congressional seats from 268 to 218, and to deprive public servants found to have committed state fraud of their civil rights.

 

Colombians also were to decide whether to freeze public servants’ salaries and state spending for two years from 2004, and on limiting functionaries’ pensions and privileges.

 

Uribe appeared set to receive a ringing endorsement of his proposals in early official returns—with more than 85 percent of the vote counted, each of the 15 proposals was passing with yes votes of between 79.9 percent and 95 percent.

 

It was unclear however whether the turnout was large enough to meet the threshold of 6.2 million yes votes -- 25 percent of the electorate—needed to make the referendum a success.

 

On Sunday voters will elect mayors, municipal councils, governors and delegates to local assemblies for a three-year mandate.

Some 300,000 troops and police have been deployed to provide security for the weekend voting.

 

Meanwhile, authorities blamed the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, for attacks that resulted in the deaths of six police officers and an army officer at Jambalo, 600 kilometers (370 miles) southwest of Bogota. Eight others were wounded.

 

National police director General Teodoro Campo said four were killed in the initial attack, and two officers brought in as reinforcements died in an ambush.

 

A separate grenade attack killed an army sergeant at a military barracks in the central province of Tolima, 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Bogota, officials said.

 

Later, six people were killed and 10 wounded when a bomb exploded at a dairy headquarters in northern Colombia. The explosion at the Colanta dairy cooperative at Yarumal, some 550 kilometers north of Bogota, was the second at the cooperative since September 6, when a dynamite blast injured three people.

 

Caracol radio reported the blast may have been linked to an attempt at extortion rather than the referendum. FARC rebels also  kidnapped 12 poll monitors in Trujillo, 500 kilometers (310 miles) southwest of Bogota, and set fire to voting booths, authorities said. Shortly after voting started, a bomb went off near a polling station in Colombia’s second largest city, Medellin, injuring one person. A member of the leftist party Polo Democratico was kidnapped under circumstances that were unclear. 

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