TRANSCRIPT - Verapun Preechakul
Preechakul is a Shrimp Farmer in Tumbol Mai Phad, Amphur Si
Kao, Ban Chang Lung in Thailand.
Can you tell
us a little bit about your last crop?
I started my
last crop in November. After nearly a month, the shrimp were infected
with the disease "red body and white spot". So I could
not harvest at all. I had to destroy all the infected shrimp.
How did you learn not to expand too much for assured survival? Please
talk about your plan for the next crop.
I try not to
hurry with the expansion of too many ponds. I may increase just
only one or two ponds. If I gain the profit from one crop I will
save it for the next crop that I might lose. I saw many shrimp farmers,
once they got profit, spend the money for expanding several ponds
and then they failed the next crop. They most likely lacked the
money to continue the following crop. For me, if I want to expand
my ponds I will do just only one or two. I do not want to be very
Why are using probiotics and what is the approach?
I had experience
using antibiotics when I started my farm. I found that the results
were not clear. After that, I realized that if the disease occurred,
the antibiotic could not help at all. Finally I stopped using antibiotics
and turned to using probiotics. I think it is good. It is natural
and good for environment. It should be good in the long run.
What do you do to start it up again and where does the water go?
After the shrimp
problem, I kept water for sometime then treated it with a chemical
to kill all the disease carriers. After the chemical dissipated
then I could discharge the water out of the pond. The bottom soil
was exposed to be sun dried and then was tilled back and forth.
I kept the bottom dry longer than the usual one to two months; I
did it for two to three months. Then we could pump water into the
Let's talk about the last crop in detail.
I forgot to
tell you that usually after each crop, I had to move out the sludge
that deposited in the middle of the pond. But for the last crop,
we had a problem after less than one month, so we had little sludge.
I had to till and dry the bottom soil only.
After you discovered that the shrimp were not well, how did you
deal with that?
After my farm
had a problem with the disease, I tried to solve the problem by
keeping the bottom soil dry for a longer period of time and do the
same thing with the water. I thought, by this technique, it should
How do you
describe the change you went through over the last six years?
I think the
risk is higher now; it is more difficult to raise shrimp. The disease
is prevailing and even worst, the growth rate is lower. The shrimp
price has been affected too. I think the risk is now much higher
You used probiotics for quite a long time. Do you think it allowed
you to have better survival compare with the chemical? Are more
farms adopting this technique?
I think with
bacteria, or any natural products, there are less negative impacts.
The same can be said for the use of herbal medicine compared with
chemical medicine. For chemicals, if you misuse it, the impact is
high. For herbal medicine, the impact is less; the only thing you
have to lose is money. Everything becomes commercial and the price
is higher now. There is no other disadvantage. Even now the benefit
of using probiotics is not evident, but I still think it should
be better than using chemicals. Now, herbal is becoming commercial.
Just listen to the advertising and use everything.
Because you try to be a more organic product, do you get a better
price? Is the market open for shrimp that is grown more carefully?
Right now, we
just use products from C.P., because we contract with C.P.
Will you take the advantage for the future, if there is a labeling
For the future,
chemical-using will be less and less and it will become biotic.
For the shrimp price, it depends on the buyer. I believe the shrimp
price should be higher.