Shrimp is Bangladesh’s main agricultural export and makes a substantial contribution to the economy of southern Bangladesh. However, Bangladesh’s shrimp production and exports have been in steady decline. Most shrimp exports from Bangladesh are used by the food service and niche ethnic markets in Europe. The complex nature of shrimp supply chains in Bangladesh, comprised of hundreds of thousands of small polyculture farms and tens of thousands of small traders, make it difficult to implement traceability and certification initiatives – now a prerequisite for entry into most supermarket supply chains.
This scoping study from the CGIAR 'Rethinking Food Markets' Initiative provides an overview of the sector and the challenges it faces, drawing on secondary and survey data, reviews of government reports and academic literature. We also report the findings of an expert consultation conducted to identify key constraints and potential solutions.
The consensus among industry stakeholders who were part of the expert consultations is that issues related to the supply and quality of shrimp seed and pond management practices represent some of the most pressing, yet relatively simple-to-solve challenges currently faced by the sector. This would serve as the foundation for establishing traceability and certification processes. We outline potential interventions and partners that might offer scalable solutions enabling small shrimp farmers to access global markets.