Raihan studied hard for getting a job but he could not last longer than a year in the private firm he joined.
After that, the youth from Mymensingh Sadar upzaila returned home to cultivate monosex tilapia fish in his father's pond. This project also proved futile but led him to a life-changing experience – intensive fish farming under the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute.
Launched in 2019, this farming is one of the 60 plus innovative fish farming technologies developed by Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute. Intensive fish farming is attracting more farmers in Mymensingh.
The modern fish farming technique ensures greater production in limited space, yielding huge profit. Mymensingh's fishermen would count losses for using traditional fish farming procedures.
Raihan started cultivating shing fish in a 32-decimal pond in June with an investment of Tk14 lakh. Five months later he made a net profit of Tk11 lakh or 44 percent. The total production was nine thousand kilograms, the market price per kilogram being Tk280.
The youngster had released 1.6 lakh fry fishes, bought with Tk2.4 lakh, in the pond in June. Each fish weighed 4-5 grams at that time and gained an extra 45-55 grams when they were marketed.
Till October, the fishes needed 14 tonnes of fish food worth Tk10.5 lakh.
Before adopting intensive farming, Raihan counted annual losses of Tk4 to Tk5 lakh for cultivating pabda and gulsha fishes for two consecutive years in the same pond.
However, using the intensive farming technique in his 80-decimal land for six months, another fisherman from the area Abdullah Hel Kafi also cultivated pabda and earned Tk11 lakh which included 45 percent profit.
"At one point, I had nothing. But now I have a car and more," Abdullah told The Business Standard.
Though the new technique is ideal for shing and pabda cultivation, the process of testing it on other fishes is underway.
Seeing promises in the intensive farming procedure, Parvez, another youth from the area, switched from crop to fish cultivation.
"Cultivating paddy, farmers like me made losses every year," he said.
Fish farming without using technology is almost impossible now, said Dr AHM Kohinoor of the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute, adding untrained fish farmers are facing losses.
However, almost everyone who has worked with the intensive fish farming project has found successes, Dr Kohinoor said, adding forty plus farmers have enlisted for the project since its inception this year.