As part of the IMAQulate project, surveys of shrimp farmers in Andhra Pradesh, India, have been carried out to understand the health practices employed on their farms and what influences these decisions. IMAQulate project postdoc Mahmoud El Thoth has been in Andhra Pradesh since September conducting these surveys, assisted by a team of student enumerators from Pithapur Rajah's College, Kakinada. Together they have conducted around 200 surveys of farmers across the state.
The findings from these surveys will contribute to the understanding of the products used by shrimp farmers and how they make these decisions. There is a particular interest in the use of probiotics; as an unregulated industry, increasingly expanding as antibiotics become more stringently regulated, a large number of products are readily available to farmers with little evidence of efficacy. The IMAQulate project aims to investigate the efficacy of various probiotics in order to better inform farm health practices.