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3.1 Technical Feasibility

3.1.1 Climate. Most shrimp farming is being done in tropical countries where the warm climate permits year-round growth. However, important shrimp culture industries have been developed in China and Taiwan. Recently, shrimp farming has been developed in the southern part of the United States. Temperatures in the Iskenderun Bay region are similar to those areas and one can assume that at least one crop of shrimp can be grown over the eight month growing period from mid-April to mid-November. Under natural conditions the water temperature of aquaculture ponds is not high enough to support rapid growth until mid-May and in the fall low temperature reduces growth after September. The effective growing season is only five and a half months. Research in the U.S. has demonstrated that by using solar heated greenhouses the period during which growth is rapid can be advanced to mid-March, extending the effective growing season to seven months.

3.1.2 Turkey is located between the latitudes where sufficient light and temperature are available for efficient production of agricultural crops, and greenhouses are used extensively. It is estimated that the total area of greenhouse coverage in Turkey reached 12,000 ha in 1987. In the Iskenderun Bay area there are more than 200 sunny days per year. In the critical months of March, April and May the average hours of sunshine are 6.2, 7.4 and 9.4 respectively. The favourable climate and extensive experience with greenhouses should be a big factor in starting shrimp farming.

3.1.3 The rainfall pattern is also favourable. Rainfall is moderate with most of the rainfall occurring in December, January and February, a time when it is too cold to grow shrimp. The low tidal amplitude of 40 cm means that the cost of pumping water into ponds will be minimal and that water can be pumped at all times. At 38 to 40 ppt, the salinity of iskenderun bay is somewhat higher than desirable, but one of the most widely cultured species, p. vannamei, grows well in ponds where salinity is high. Some of the most desirable sites for pond culture are adjacent to lagoons. Due to the influence of water run-off from irrigation, the lagoons have lower salinities even in the heat of summer. In Akyatan Lagoon, salinity at a monitoring station near the mouth of a river varied from 13 to 26 ppt over the course of a year.

3.1.4 A question of major importance is the availability of suitable land. The mission was not able to observe all coastal areas, but several sites were visited which have clay soil suitable for constructing dikes and have an elevation high enough to permit draining ponds by gravity. These areas are shown in Figure 2. Most of the land suitable for pond culture is already in productive use, mostly agriculture. A discussion of the possible conversion of some of this land to aquaculture is presented in a later section.

3.1.5 Other coastal land, such as that south of Iskenderun is dominated by tourist development and, consequently, even presently unused land is very expensive. There are vast expanses by low lying land with sandy soils. These soils are unsuitable for constructing pond dikes and consequently ponds cannot be built there. If methods are developed for building dikes using these soils much more area could be put into aquaculture production.

3.1.6 Since temperature and soils are adequate for shrimp farming one must evaluate the native species of shrimp to determine if they could be used in shrimp culture. Production of shrimp from the fishery is small. Most of the shrimp landed are taken as by-catch. The following species of penaeid shrimp occur in Turkish waters:

Penaeus semisulcatus (Deltaan, 1884)
P. kerathurus (Forskal, 1775)
P. japonicus (Bate 1888)
Metapenaeus monoceros (Fabricus, 1798)
M. stebbingi (Nobili, 1904)
Parapenaeus longirostris (Lucas, 1846)
Trachypenaeus curvirostris (Stimpson, 1860)

Of these species only P. japonicus supports sizeable aquaculture operations. These are in Japan where the preference for this shrimp commands a high price. Attempts to culture it elsewhere have not proven economic. Its rate of growth is slow when compared to P. monodon or P. vannamei and it requires food with a high animal protein content. M. monoceros is taken incidentally in milkfish and shrimp ponds in S.E. Asia, but it only grows to a small size. Research on culturing P. semisulcatus and P. kerathurus has not shown good results.

3.1.7 It is recommended that one of the species of shrimp found to be better suited for pond culture be used. The two most widely cultured species are: P. monodon in Asia and P. vannamei from Central America. Both shrimp are fast growing and very hardy in the pond environment. However, P. monodon may not be as well suited to the fully saline conditions of the lagoon.

3.2 Model Shrimp Farm

3.2.1 A semi-intensive method of shrimp farming is suggested for Turkey. The model presented below is based on a working farm in the southern United States where climatological conditions are broadly similar to those occurring in the Iskenderun Bay region. The farm has ponds of 0.8 ha which have internal dividers and water aeration/moving devices to make water circulate within the pond. A typical pond is illustrated in Figure 3.

Figure 2


3.2.2 Solar heated greenhouses are used to lengthen the growing season and accelerate the rate of growth in the spring. In the pond illustrated a greenhouse is shown covering a portion of the pond. A barrier wall made of polyethylene plastic film isolates the area under the greenhouse so that the postlarval shrimp can be retained under the greenhouse. Typically, water temperature in the greenhouse is 8°C higher than the water outside. When afternoon water temperature exceed 30°C underwater gates are opened at each end of the greenhouse and cooler water from the pond is pumped through to reduce the water temperature. Between mid-April and May, when the water underneath the greenhouse becomes too hot for the shrimp, screens are removed from the underwater gates and the shrimp are allowed to swim into the pond. At this time water circulation through the greenhouse is increased. By using the solar heater to warm the entire pond, a temperature rise of 2°C has been achieved. Between 23° and 28°C a 2°C rise in temperature results in an 80 percent increase in growth.

3.2.3 In a normal pond, shrimp of 5–7 mm length would be stocked between 15 April and 1 May. They would not attain a length of 3 cm until early June. In ponds equipped with greenhouses the shrimp exceed 3 cm by 1 May. This increase means that larger, more valuable shrimp can be harvested in the fall.

3.2.4 The following assumptions are made for the shrimp culture operation:

A projection has been made for a shrimp farm of 64 ha on an 80 ha site. Each pond is 0.8 ha. A layout of the model farm is presented in Figure 4. Tables showing the estimated costs for constructing and managing the farm are included in Annex 2.

3.2.5 Plans call for the grow-out pond to be built to the following schedule.

Year 1 - Planning and construction of 16 ha-20 ponds.
Year 2 - Operate 16 ha of ponds and construct 16 ha of ponds
Year 3 - Operate 16 ha of ponds and construct 16 ha of ponds
Year 4 - Operate 48 ha of ponds and construct 16 ha of ponds
Year 5 - Operate 64 ha of ponds.

In Year 2, the first year of production, postlarval shrimp would be imported from a tropical hatchery. During year 2 a hatchery will be constructed. In year 3, nauplius larvae are imported and reared to postlarvae in the hatchery. By year 4 maturation and hatchery technology is developed and all postlarval seedstock are produced internally.

Likewise, it is anticipated that it will be necessary to import a high quality feed during year 2. By year 3 it might be possible to fabricate a high quality feed in Turkey utilizing local ingredients for bulk, with only small quantities of essential vitamins, amino acids and minerals imported. However, this would need to be assessed.

Fig. 3


Figure 4



3.2.6 Funds are provided in the project for technical guidance:

3.2.7 Plans call for processing the shrimp locally and freezing the whole shrimp in 2.2 kg boxes. The shrimp will be transported to Europe in refrigerated trucks carrying 14,500 kg. Shipments will reach the market during the holiday season when demand is high.

3.2.8 In this section only constrution costs, operating costs and yields are considered. An analysis including prices received and profitability is included in a later section of the report.

Determination of the economic viability of shrimp farming depends on variables which the mission was not able to assess in detail during this short study. For that reason the model is used as an outline only, and cost breakdowns are presented in detail in Annex 2.

3.2.9 Site specific costs. Two of the most important variable costs, land and electric installation, are site specific. Unless one enters serious negotiations, it is difficult to obtain a reliable cost for land. Estimates of the cost of coastal farm land ranged from a low $ 2,000 per ha for unproductive land to $4,800 per ha. To ensure against using estimates which were unrealistic the $ 4,800 per ha value was used. The cost of extending electricity to a farm is high, $4,800 per km. A distance of 5 km was used in the projection, but clearly a 3 or 4 km difference in distance would make a large difference in cost.

3.2.10 Cost of technology. The technology needed to grow shrimp in semi-intensive culture using greenhouses is new. This technology will have to be imported. The existing processing facilities are not adequate to handle large volumes of shrimp in a short time. Expert advice will be required to set up processing facilities that will produce a high quality product for export which will command a premium price. A total of $190,000, about 10 percent of the total budget has been allocated for importation of technology. This cost will only be required for the first few projects. If some form of financial assistance could be made available by government or donor agencies, this burden could be reduced considerably.

3.2.11 Ice. In the model ice is costed at current local prices which appear to be high. There is also a question as to the availability of sufficient quantities of ice after the first or second year of production. It may be necessary to construct an ice plant at the farm.

3.2.12 Feed. Feed is a major expenditure during production. In the model it is assumed that a good quality food could be made locally by the second year of production at a cost of $0.55/kg, whereas imported feeds are priced at $0.78/kg. However, a detailed study is necessary to assess the type and cost of the necessary bulk feed ingredients in Turkey so that an accurate estimate of cost can be made.

3.2.13 Cost of construction. An arbitrary cost of $1.11 per m3 was used in calculations for earthwork in the model. Accurate calculations of the cost of earthwork depend on soil texture, vegetative cover, slope of the terrain, the type of equipment used and the skill of the operator. Consequently, the cost of earthwork could vary significantly from the figure used in the model.

3.2.14 Marketing. The local market for shrimp is small and it is doubtful that large quantities of shrimp could be absorbed locally. Most of the shrimp produced will have to be exported. The model envisions export of frozen whole shrimp to Europe by truck. Export of a whole shrimp will be easier initially due to the lack of workers experienced in heading shrimp. Processing is critical because: (1) There is no existing infrastructure. (2) It takes place for only a short time so it is difficult to train staff. (3) Time is critical, any delay or improper handling can result in loss of product or deteriotion of quality. (4) Good quality is essential to building the brand recognition necessary to command a premium price.

An alternate strategy calling for heading the shrimp prior to shipping might result in reduced costs. Following is a brief analysis of the difference in cost of between shipping 60,000 kg of whole shrimp and the same weight of shrimp processed into tails.

 Whole shrimp Tails    
Weight shipped60,000 kg 39,000
Heading ($0.22/kg on tail wt)-    $8,580
Boxing ($0.05/kg)$3,000 1,950
Freezing ($ 0.12/kg)7,200 4,680
Transport ($4,700/truck)18,800 9,400
TOTAL COST$ 29,000 24,610

Saving amount to $4,390 when tails are shipped. Indications are, however, that Europeans prefer a whole shrimp. A detailed study will be required to determine the preferred product form and price in Europe before strategies for processing can be determined.

3.2.15 Cost of money. One of the most important considerations for any business is the cost of money. The model assumes an equity-debt ratio of 40–60 and a short term interest rate of 12 percent and long term interest rate of 15 percent. A change in any of these variables will, of course, exert an influence on profitability.

3.3 Other

3.3.1 Labour. There is an abundance of labour in the region. Labour costs are low. Agricultural labourers show an adaptability to new technology as demonstrated by the extensive use of irrigation and greenhouses. Wages for a farm worker, guard or driver are in the order of $100 per month. Skilled craftsmen such as mechanics, welders, electricians and machinists are available to construct and maintain an aquaculture unit and its equipment. University graduates who can be trained for technical positions are available. Salary for a biologist would run to about $320 per month.

3.3.2 Energy. There are good supplies of energy at a reasonable cost. Electricity costs about $0.06 per kw, diesel $0.31 per litre and petrol $0.40. Electricity is available along most of the coastline.

3.3.3 Technical support. There are no coastal aquaculture farms in the area and, consequently, there are no government extension agents or other sources of technical advice. Support services for traditional forms of agriculture are good and aquaculture activities should be able to utilize expert advice in soil science, design and construction of irrigation structures such as dikes and water control structures. The universities are equipped to perform water analysis.

3.3.4 Government incentives. The government offers a variety of incentives for foreign investment in fish hatcheries and fish farming where the investment is over $ 96,000. Included are:

3.3.5 Runoff from Irrigation. The area around Iskenderun Bay has a highly developed system of irrigation for agriculture and all the runoff enters the lagoons or baya. Use of the agricultural chemical Temik (aldecarp sulfoxide) is widespread. It represents 80 percent of the chemicals used. It has a half-life of 2 months. It is not absorbed by clays in the fields after it is applied and since it is water soluble, it moves out of the fields rapidly. Estimates indicate that the toxic level for fish is low. No information was available about the presence of pesticides in seawater, bottom sediments or fish flesh.

3.4 Factors Affecting Development

3.4.1 The model has been prepared using relatively optimistic assumptions typical of those in a well-developed industry. Examination of the model reveals several factors which have implications as to how shrimp culture might be developed in Turkey.

3.4.2 Capital Costs. Shrimp farming is a capital-intensive business. A large investment in land, construction and operating costs is necessary before any returns are realized. This has two important ramifications. The first is the need for substantial collateral. Banks require adequate security for any loan, but for a new venture engaged in a business which is generally considered speculative the requirements for collateral are strict. The second is the length of time, 18–24 months, before any income is generated by the farm. A farmer not only has to have sufficient wealth to provide guarantees for a loan, he must go for two years with no income.

3.4.3 Cash flow. The long period between harvests when income is generated by sale of the crop creates cash flow problems. Major expenditures for postlarvae occur in March and April and for feed and electricity from July through October. This requires an ability to manage money which is only gained through experience. If a farmer has inadequate financial resources a mistake in cash flow projections or unexpected expenses can result in failure of the business.

3.4.4 Non variable unit costs. Many of the capital costs are not dependent on the size of the farm. Included in this category are such things as extending electricity to the farm site, building an access road and constructing a water intake. Costs are almost the same for a small farm as for a large farm. Another cost which is not dependent on the size of a farm is technical assistance. This is a major expense and it costs just as much to bring a consultant in to help with a small farm as it does for a large farm.

3.4.5 Economy of size. Costs of some inputs are effected by the size of the farm. Seed stock is one example. A feed mill must have large orders before undertaking the expense of fabricating a new feed. Shrimp feeds have special requirements for milling and extrusion. Usually a plant must be shut down and adjustments made to the machinery before a batch of shrimp food can be produced. If the amount of feed required is not sufficient to absorb the added costs a plant manager will not cooperate. Postlarval seed stock faces the same situation. A hatchery requires a certain investment. It is not economic to build a hatchery to produce only the 250,000 postlarvae needed to stock a one ha pond.

3.5 Strategies for Development

3.5.1 A large investor should have no problem starting up a shrimp farm, providing he is willing to commit the necessary funds to the project. On the other hand, financial constraints will make it nearly impossible for a small shrimp farm to get started on its own. This does not mean that it will not be possible for small shrimp farms to operate. There are at least two pathways for development.

3.5.2 Large farms. A large farm can absorb investment costs and within a few years the farm will serve as a model for others. Small farmers will observe the technology and adapt it to their own scale. They will operate on small plots of land near cities or adjacent to the larger farms where electricity and roads are available. They will take advantage of the availability of feed and postlarval shrimp. The shrimp they produce will enter the newly developed marketing channels. Funds for development will be obtained through traditional financing agencies. This will be possible because once economic viability has been demonstrated, lending institutions feel more secure when extending loans to small holders.

3.5.3 A good example of this type of development occurred in the Philippines. A large Filipino corporation purchased technology from a Taiwanese company. They developed jointly a demonstration farm, hatchery and feed mill. Small farmers were taught how to grow shrimp. They were then sold postlarvae and feed. The development efforts were successful and on the island of Negros a substantial shrimp farming industry now operates. It is composed of small farmers operating semi-intensive farms. Establishment of the industry was rapid.

3.5.4 This type of development could be encouraged by government sponsored investment incentives. There are several reasons why this type of investment is possible. The principal reason is that the high value of shrimp ensures sufficient profit for all parties. It would be more difficult with a less valuable commodity. A second reason is that with semi-intensive shrimp farming there is some limitation of size. A manageable production unit is relatively small and as an operation grows management efficiency declines. The close supervision of the ponds which is required is ideally suited for individual ownership of small production units. Thus, one is not likely to see domination of grow-out production by a single large company.

3.5.5 Small Farms. In order for small and medium size farms to develop without the initial participation of a large investor government assistance will be required. Means must be found to reduce start-up investment costs. Some of the actions which could be considered are:

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