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POST TIME: 21 October, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 21 October, 2019 01:10:00 AM
Addressing the rat menace effectively needed

Addressing the rat menace effectively needed

It is encouraging to note that the farmers, field level agriculture officials, teachers, students and common people eliminated over 9.82 lakh rats saving 7,371 tonnes of crops worth Taka 16-crore last year in all five districts of Rangpur division. Agriculturists disclosed the information recently at launching function of the month-long Rat Elimination Campaign-2019 and distribution of prizes among successful rat killers of all five districts under the agriculture region.

Rats pose a considerable threat to the food security system of Bangladesh. The rodents cause severe damage to various crops by gnawing, spoilage, contamination and hoarding activities. Side by side with destroying 10 to 12 per cent or even more of cereal and other crops, rats damage boundaries of arable lands, roads, flood control embankments, irrigation canals and other properties every year in the country.

Unusual climatic events such as heavy rainfall early in the wet season or flash floods and cyclones can cause rat outbreaks. Heavy rainfall before the beginning of the crop season, for instance, can allow the rats’ breeding season to begin earlier due to better than usual food supply. In our country, rats cause huge damages to field crops, stored grain and farm equipment each year. Pre-harvest losses caused by rats are remarkable. The destruction caused by rats can be devastating where rat outbreak can wipe out entire harvests.

While there are different causes of rat outbreaks, all lead to a situation whereby there are higher than normal amounts of available food which rat has access to. According to statistics the country’s annual cereal food production last year was 37.266 million metric tons while the vegetable yield was 3.06 million tonnes while rats destroyed some 1.5 million tonnes of the total production.

The field-level officials and staffs concerned should motivate all the members of Integrated Crop Management (ICM) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as well as school children and others concerned to take part in the drive so that it could be succeeded. Coordinated involvement of particular ethnic groups of people who consume rats as food can also be an effective means of making the drive a total success.