A group of pupils under the Special Education Integration Programme (PPKI) in SK Alor Pongsu in Bagan Serai, Perak, have succeeded in breeding crayfish in an aquaculture project.
The project carried out at the school began two years ago with support from 10 teachers and four students.
Project coordinator, Sharul Azlan Sungit, 35, said the group of 34 special students had since enjoyed good earnings after three consecutive harvests.
"In the implementation of the project, the PPKI pupils were given an opportunity to adapt to the environment, as well as the value of entrepreneurship.
"They were indirectly, given education on science, mathematics and living skills in preparation for their adulthood," he said. According to Sharul Azlan, the idea of breeding crayfish was meant to be both a teaching and learning process for the special students.
"The school has decided to go into the farming of Quadricarinatus species of crayfish (Red-Claw) from Australia as the breeding process is much easier," he said.
He said the project began with an initial capital of RM1,200 to implement the project, apart from additional contributions collected from every teacher at the school including its canteen operator. “With the initial capital, we provided a canvass pond and 20 crayfish for seeding.
"With the efforts of the students, teachers and support from other parties, the project now has five aquariums and three ponds, including a concrete pond, after two years," added Sharul Azlan.
He noted the ponds could accommodate at least 2,000 crayfish fries in each farming cycle, which was between six and eight months.
"Breeding crayfish is not too difficult as we only need to provide suitable feeds, apart from managing the water temperature to ensure the ponds are not too hot.
"Crayfish eat green plants in the ponds which I personally grow, and pellets. However, they should not be overfed as it produces ammonia."
Sharul Azlan said crayfish fries were sold according to their size. Those between one and two inches cost RM1.50 a piece while fries of between two and three inches are priced at RM2.50 each.
"A live crayfish costs between RM120 to RM150 a kilo while dead crayfish can still fetch between RM55 and RM75 per kilogramme," he added. - Bernama
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