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Add To Calendar 28/04/2016 16:00:0028/04/2016 16:20:00America/ChicagoAsian-Pacific Aquaculture 2016IMPROVING THE WELL-BEING OF MUDCRAB WOMEN CULTURIST IN SOUTHWEST BANGLADESH THROUGH VALUE CHAIN ANALYSIS   Diamond 2The World Aquaculture Societyjohnc@was.orgfalseanrl65yqlzh3g1q0dme13067DD/MM/YYYY


Wilfred Jamandre* Upton Hatch,Sattyananda Biswas, Emilia Quinitio, Md. Abdul Wahab, Sadika Haque Russell Borski
Department of Agricultural Management, Central Luzon State University, Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines

This study had analysed the value chain of mud crab in Southwest Bangladesh and identified areas to improve the livelihood opportunities of women crab culturists in these region. Tracer methodology was employed to map the existing value chain of mudcrab spanning three districts, namely Khulna, Satkhira and Bagerhat. A total of 156 respondents were interviewed composed of 6 crab collectors; 45 mudcrab culturists; 6 assemblers (3 in local/district-based depots and 3 in national or Dhaka-based depots), 3 soft-shelled crab processors and exporters of live crabs in Dhaka; 1 exporter association (with 86 active members) in Dhaka and 10 consumers. Combinations of individual and panel interviews as well as focus group discussions were employed to gather data and information. Secondary data were used extensively to establish a good understanding of the mudcrab industry. These include data on volume and value of production, yield, prices and other market information, among others. Finally, key informants from relevant agencies such as the Bangladesh Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Department of Forestry, among others were also interviewed.

The mudcrab industry in Bangladesh had become an important source of income and employment of the fishery sector of the country. Export value of live crabs is now ranked 9th and the 3rd fastest growing fishery product in the country. The major destination of live crabs is the export markets whose demand is growing overtime (include China, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.). But domestic demand is limited to the non-Muslim consumers and foreign tourists. Consumption of crab is not yet accepted by the majority of Bangladeshi albeit not forbidden by their faith.

Marketable live crabs are collected in the wild but "exploitation" made the volume of catch and consistency of crabs' quality become unsustainable. Hence, crab culture and fattening is recently emerging polyculture fishery product in the country.

The crab's value chain is composed of crab collectors, crab growers/culturists/fatteners, assembler-agents at local, district and national depots, exporter-processors and end users. The occasional participation of retailers and institutional buyers in the value chain made them insignificant players.

The schedule of volume, prices and product requirements (grade, size, sex, gonad and claw conditions) are provided by the exporters through the assembler-agents. Regular export schedule is done thrice a week. To meet any volume or "quota" requirements, assembler-agents extend credit (dadon) or advanced payments to crab collectors and crab growers as procurement strategy. Almost all other transactions are settled in cash. In terms of profit shares across players in the value chain, the exporters-processors have the lion share with 57%. The assemblers in district and crab collectors followed next with respective 19% and 16%.profit shares while the local assembler and crab growers have the lowest profit shares of 4.4% and 2.4%, respectively.

Due to poor road, transportation and packaging practices, high incidence (20%) of in-transit mortality and rejects was experienced. To recoup from these losses, exporters began processing crab meats for the export markets. Other  major logistical issues and concerns that hamper the overall efficiency and sustainability of the value chain, include: (a) natural sources of crabseeds are becoming unsustainable; (b) poor grow out and feeding technologies in mudcrab culture; (c) poor road conditions, packaging and handling practices; (d) limited working capital; and (e) poor processing technology.  

Additionally, the external influences that are harmful to the value chain include (a) frequent floods due to heavy rains; (b) poor water quality, and (c) the lack of government efforts of stimulating domestic demand for crabs.

To address the above issues and concerns, the following measures are recommended: (a) establish crab hatcheries, (b) Improve cultural and value adding technologies via techno transfer and credit programs, (c) Improve product packaging and handling systems, and (d) provide efficient marketing and promotion programs.

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