Crocodile farming in hilly region brings success

Crocodile farming in hilly region brings success COX’S BAZAR, Feb 4: Crocodile farming at Ghumdhum hilly region at Ukhiya border in the district has brought about an enormous success, ushering in hopes of fetching huge foreign money.
The crocodile farming at the hill is considered as Asia’s second biggest farming project and the biggest in thesouth Asian countries. The farming can play a huge role for the country’s economic development through its exports to different countries, field sources said.
The entrepreneurs of the farm have become very happy and hopeful about earning much as the crocodiles of the farm have given birth to at least 600 offspring.
Only four-kilometre way off from the Ukhiya upazila headquarters and 60-kilometre away from Naikhangchhari upazila, the crocodile farm was set up on 25 acres of a hilly area by multinational company Akij Group. Every day, a huge number of visitors throng the area to see the crocodile farming.
Field Officer of Crocodile Farming Project Sultan Ahmed said, they first started the cultivation using modern technology by importing 50 breeds of crocodile from Malaysia in 2009; few years back, three crocodiles of the farm died, and 31 female crocodiles out of 47 have recently started to produce offspring. At least 600 have been bred from them during the last few months, he added.
Now the breeds are growing up in healthy condition due to concentrated care, proper treatment and adequate supply of food to them.
Project related sources said, there is a huge demand of reptile’s meat in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, China, Japan and many other western countries. So, there is a possibility of earning crores of money by exporting crocodiles to these countries within the next year.
Entrepreneurs here said that they are hoping to turn the region into a tourist spot through farming butterfly, erecting bird park, and establishing cottage and museum. Thus it would see a huge rush of tourists from different parts of the country and abroad, making another way to earn revenue for the government in tourism sector, they continued.
Manager of crocodile farming project Nurul Islam said 200 kg fish and 300 kg meat are provided to crocodile once a week. It costs Tk 1.5 lakh for the reptiles in a month.
He further said that the 32 female crocodiles have given birth to 800 breeds, eleven among them died, the rest have grown up to 4.5 feet.
“We will earn around one thousand crore in the next year by exporting those to different foreign countries,” he added.
Adviser of the crocodile farming project Jhulan Das said that the female crocodiles lay 50-55 eggs together on an average. It is possible to get baby crocodile from each of the eggs by ensuring proper care and monitoring.
“We will start export processing in the next year. Crocodile’s meat would be supplied to Korea, its hide and knee to Japan and the rest parts to China,” Das added.
Ghumdhum Union Chairman AKM Jahangir said the crocodile farming project has created an employment opportunity for the unemployed youths in the backward hilly area. The area will become commercial zone if the initiative of turning it as a tourist spot is implemented soon.