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‘Rats alone eat up nearly 4pc crops’

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FT ONLINE

Experts in Rajshahi has suggested mobilization of school children along with others to spearhead an anti-rat campaign saying the notorious pest alone eat up nearly 4 percent of the country’s annually produced food grains and vegetables.

“Rats appeared to be a threat to our food security system . . . we can ensure the food security spearheading a successful campaign,” deputy director of agriculture extension department (DAE) Deb Dulal Dhali told the inauguration of an annual rat killing drive at the DAE’s zonal office in Rajshahi.

Additional Divisional commissioner of Aminul Islam, who joined the function as the chief guest, suggested involvement of the country thousands of school children in the rat annihilation campaign.

He urged the field-level officials and staffs concerned to 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.

He said coordinated involvement of particular ethnic groups of people who consume rats as food could also be an effective was of making the drive a total success.

According to statistics the country’s annual cereal food production last year was 37.266 million metric tons while the vigitable yield was 3.06 million tones while rats destroyed some 1.5 million tonnes of the total production.

Experts say a pair of rats can give birth to about 3,000 offspring yearly to cause havoc for the crop production and added annihilation of the harmful creature would affect little the ecological balance.

DAE’s additional director Monjurul Haque presented the keynote paper at the function narrating various aspects of rat killing and urged all concerned to extend their cooperation in this regard.

DAE’s additional director Joynul Abedeen chaired the function.

Upazila Nirbahi Officer Alamgir Kabir, Upazila Agriculture Officer AKM Manzure Mawla, Metropolitan Agriculture Officer Shalama Khatun, Principal Scientific Officer of Fruit Research Station Alim Uddin and Deputy Director of Regional Horticulture Research Center Dr Saifur Rahman also spoke at the function.

-NK

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