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Rodent awareness campaign conducted
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR:
Published on 2 Jul. 2009 12:26 AM IST
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30 -40% of the pineapple production destroyed by rodents An awareness campaign on rodent pest management and control measures organized by Agriculture department was held on Wednesday at Fishery department training hall, Dimapur with Joint Director, Agriculture & Secretary APMC board, C Mozhui delivering the keynote address and District Agriculture Officer (DAO) Dimapur, Nguzonyi Wetsah chairing the programme. Sub-Divisional Officer (Store) N Jacob Yanthan was the resource person for the programme which was attended by farmers from all the three blocks of Dimapur district except Niuland Sub-division. The chairman called upon participants to pay serious attention and highlighted the main aims and objectives of conducting the awareness programme. He also urged the farmers to cooperate with the field staff while conducting assessment of the field damage caused by the rodents. Speaking on the occasion joint director C Mozhui informed that rodent was multiplying in huge numbers’ due to easy availability of food during flowering of the bamboos and pointed out that bamboo seeds were aphrodisiac for the rodents. He also informed that due to availability of bamboos flowers as main source of food the rodents do not eat up their offspring which led to large scale of population. Meanwhile he also disclosed that flowering of bamboos have been the maximum since last year in the state. Later he urged the farmers to take up strategic measures and combine traditional and modern ways to control the rodents menace. It may be mentioned that rodent, bandicoots ( Bandicota Bengalensis) which have a stouter nose than house rats and shorter tail has a gap of one day between the cycle of pregnancy and delivery. The rodent east up even the plastic materials and produces twelve to twenty litters (babies) at a time. The rodent had earlier caused famine in Mizoram with the on set of flowering of the bamboos’. On interacting with one progressive pineapple farmer from Molvom, it was found that the rodents were destroying nearly 30% -40% of the pineapple production and the farmers were not able to use rodenticides because of the organic tag attached with it. The farmer expressed helplessness on the issue and disclosed that the traps were successful in catching only 10%-15% of the rodents. Meanwhile on contacting the District Horticulture Officer (DHO), Dimapur, the DHO replied that assessments of the farms have been done and the report has been already sent to the government to take necessary action. Meanwhile resource person N Jacob Yanthan gave a power point presentation on the rodent pest management and control measures and displayed the various indigenous traps to the participants. He urged the farmer’s to use rodenticides as the last resort in controlling the rodents. While stating that rodents are most destructive vertebrate pests he pointed out rodent pest management normally aimed as applicant of poisons to kill individual rodents is often a failure since it is looked as more application of poison or keeping a trap, without looking at the ecological situation and without any planning. He also disclosed that the rodents were responsible for spread of dreaded diseases which have caused more human deaths than wars in human history. He also educated the participants on bamboo plant flowers which bloom only once after which it dies. He also mentioned about the two species of bamboo in flowering stage in Nagaland namely ‘Bambusa Vulgaris’ and ‘Melacana Baccifera’. Later he also informed about the safety precautions, first aid and antidotes of rodenticides incase of consumption by human beings. Speaking this reporter the SDO disclosed that further programme will be conducted in rest of the districts. Vote of thanks was pronounced by APP, Bendandlila after which rodenticides and soyabean seeds were distributed to the farmers.

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