Increasing rat population under Bhandari sub-division Wokha have reportedly affected about 32 villages, damaging field crops and vegetables including sticky rice (paddy).
According to Bhandari Town Lotha Hoho (BTLH) chairman B. Elan Odyuo, farmers feared that if the rodent menace persisted, the present Kharif paddy fields and even WTRC would not yield harvest and villagers would face acute shortage of food. He said the increasing population of rats not only threatened agricultural products but the sustainability of the farmers in the area. The chairman also stated that farmers whose earnings were Rs.1300 to Rs.1600 per week were being slashed down to mere Rs.200 to Rs.255.
Taking serious note of the menace, BTLH has appealed to the agriculture department to provide non-poisonous chemicals, incentive for traps, chemical rodenticides and winter seeds to compensate the damage.
Meanwhile, the Hoho has expressed gratitude to agriculture department for holding a series of discussion with farmers of the surrounding areas/villages, where early crop of vegetable, orchards and even paddy plants were affected by the menace.
The Hoho also thanked director of agriculture, senior officers, directorate, DAO Wokha, SDAO Baghty and staff, and SDO (Agri-Store) Dimapur for sending expert/resource persons for imparting live demonstration show and training the farmers to use all those low cost indigenous traps for immediate curative measures. The department also provided rodenticides like roban, radol and TA incentives to the participants in all the circles, Yimpang, Yimparasa, Bhandari, Merapani and Chanpang Circles, Northern Sema area, Liphi Yan Circle.