Friday, 6 December 2019

Farming of frogs and turtles in the cards (Pakistan) – via Herp Digest



by Asif Mahmood, Published in The Express Tribune, Pakistan, October 9th, 2019.

PHOTO: EXPRESS
LAHORE: 
The Punjab Fisheries Department has sent a proposal to the provincial cabinet regarding the farming of frogs and turtles in the province.

The aim is to provide these turtles and frogs to medical colleges for experiments and exporting them to various countries, including China, Thailand, Taiwan, so that Pakistan can generate revenue.

The department, which is a sub-division of the Punjab Forest Department, has sent recommendations for the breeding of frogs and turtles to the provincial government. If the summary gets approved by the authorities, farming of frogs and turtles can be initiated in different districts across the province by next year.

Punjab Fisheries Department Assistant Director Ghulam Qadir has confirmed that his department had sent the proposal to the provincial government. 

At present, there is no place in Pakistan where farming of frogs and turtles is taking place, he said, adding that they have to either catch frogs and turtles for medical colleges and universities or import them from overseas.

The assistant director said that if we start farming these turtles and frogs at a local level, it will benefit farmers at a fair price, and will help in conserving the different kinds of turtles and frogs present in the wild.

He said that the government has been briefed about a proposal. Turtles and frogs are used as seafood, internationally and sold at a very high price. Therefore, through farming, we would be able to export these species to China, Thailand, Taiwan and other countries where the demand is very high, Qadir explained.

Pakistan also has a large number of Chinese people currently living in the country and to cater to their food requirements we have to import turtles and frogs from other countries, said Qadir. He added that there are some rare kinds of turtles, which are protected under the Wildlife Act, but the rest of the turtles can be bred through farming.

It has also been reported that a pond on one acre usually contains 1,000 fish. In comparison, a one-acre pond can easily be used for farming up to 10,000 frogs. It is also not necessary to clean the water as frogs can thrive in polluted water ponds. For their oxygen intake, they come to the surface.

According to the Punjab Fisheries Department, frogs lay eggs in stagnant water and their breeding process is rapid so there would be no need of producing a large number of frogs for farming because hundreds of eggs can be obtained from a few dozen pairs of frogs.

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