Smartphone app improving smallholder shrimp farming practices in Bangladesh
Winrock International is implementing a five-year project in Bangladesh to improve production and trade of farmed marine shrimp and freshwater prawns, with 250,000 farmers and other industry businesses targeted.
Winrock is a USA Not-for-Profit development organisation and the Bangladesh project - called “Safe Aqua Farming for Economic and Trade Improvement (SAFETI)” - is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.
SAFETI is introducing improved farming methods to the country’s shrimp and prawn farmers and has developed a mobile phone app as one way to support them. The Shrimp Farming BD App contains information on improved technologies - from pond preparation through to harvest - and has a calculator that farmers can use to work out the quantities of chemicals, feeds and other inputs they need for their pond. Also incorporated is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page where users can find answers to common questions with a single click: and they can send specific technical questions to SAFETI specialists online and receive an answer back within hours. The app can also be used to post news messages, and a link to market prices is planned.
The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and then used online or offline. It is only available in Bengali language, but already has 14,000 users, including some in the neighboring Indian State of West Bengal. Under the COVID-19 conditions this year, it has been particularly valuable as a support to Bangladeshi smallholder shrimp and prawn farmers, and will serve them as a remote learning resource well into the future.