Semi-intensive P. monodon farming

The lion’s share of all shrimp farms (i.e. for both Penaeus monodon and Litopenaeus vannamei) are semi-intensively farmed in India. These farm systems are found along the entire Indian coastline. In order to transform from extensive techniques to semi-intensive techniques certain modifications are needed. These adjustments include, clearing and leveling the pond bottom, digging a canal in the pond bottom, converting from tidal water exchange to pumped water exchange, controlling stocking density, using more fertilizers and providing shrimp feed. When these requirements are fulfilled, the farms are eligible for CAA registration.

Key features
Average stocking density

8-20 PL/m2

Average productivity

1.32 MT/ha/year

# of crops per year

1 to 2

# of days per crop

90-120 days

Harvesting season

May – June and December – January

Type of farmer

Small-scale to medium-scale farmers

Potential risks
  • use of antibiotics
  • unregistered farms
  • salinization of agricultural lands

Type of farmers

Farmers that produce P. monodon semi-intensively are small to medium sized. Most of the semi-intensive farmers in India have shifted to the production of L. vannamei. There are still some pockets of farmers that continue to crop P. monodon but their numbers are decreasing. The total area under P. monodon is expected to be less than 50,000 ha. Of this area, a considerable share is extensively produced in West Bengal.

Production and harvesting system

Pond sizes in semi-intensive production systems are generally below 0.5 hectares. Water exchange takes place with the help of water pumps. Roughly 5-20% of the water is exchanged in one week.

In general P. monodon is grown in one or two crops yearly. In Andhra Pradesh where salinity levels are the highest, there are often two crops per year. In other states such as West Bengal and Gujarat farmers tend to do only one crop. At harvest time, the crops are almost completely harvested at once. The survival rate of P. monodon in this system is between 70% to 75%

Target species and byproducts

In this system only P. monodon is cultured.

Stocking densities and productivity

Stocking density in semi-intensive systems in India vary from 8 to 20 post-larvae per m2. The annual average productivity of this systems is around 1.32 tonnes per hectare. The states Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Orissa record higher annual productivity rates, of respective 3.03, 2.74 and 2.25 tonnes per hectare (MPEDA).

Use of seed, feed and other inputs

Post-larvae are sourced from hatcheries. The distribution of larvae depends on the location of the farms. Most of the hatcheries are concentrated in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Farmers that are located in other states therefore often depend on distributors and dealers, and have less control over the source of their post-larvae. Nursery ponds are often not use in semi-intensive P. monodon culture systems.

Shrimp are fed commercial feed. Farmers tend to use chemicals and probiotics to prevent disease outbreaks and maximize their yields.


The harvest seasons in Andhra Pradesh are in the summer, the dominant summer crop in May/June, and during the monsoon season in December/January (MPEDA).