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Rats damage millions of tons of crops every year around the world. (Part-2)

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Agriculture is the main driving force of Bangladesh's economy. But feeding the country's growing population from declining agricultural land is now a huge challenge. In addition to floods, droughts, pests and diseases, rats are constantly causing severe damage to farmers' hard-earned crops. Hon'ble Prime Minister of the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina has formulated Vision 2021. One of the major tasks in the implementation of this groundbreaking vision to make this country a middle-income country is to make the country self-sufficient in food. The contribution of agriculture sector to the country's GDP is 14.75 percent. Today, the country has become self-sufficient in grain production with the continuous success of the environment-friendly agricultural development activities undertaken by the present government to increase crop production and ensure food security in Bangladesh. ‘Even an inch of land should not remain uncultivated’ As per the directives of the Hon'ble Prime Minister, due to the efforts of all those involved in agriculture, the density of crops is increasing and crops are almost always present in the land. In order to maintain this continuity, it is necessary to ensure higher yields by applying modern techniques in agricultural production and to reduce the pest damage caused by the agricultural products produced.

The cunning creature called the rat is interfering with food security by dividing human food. There is a habit of constant biting of rats or rat-like animals. It has ever-growing teeth. Rats fight all the time to prevent this growth of teeth through decay. On an average, a rat consumes about 26 grams of food per day. They waste 4/5 times what they eat. In Bangladesh alone, rats waste a year's food for 50-54 lakh people. Not only do they harm us by biting, they are the carriers and spreaders of about 60 types of diseases in humans and animals. Reducing crop damage by rats will ensure food security on the one hand and increase income on the other. Protecting warehouse crops from rats and stopping the mixing of excrement and hair in the diet will ensure health, safe food and nutrition as well as reduce the spread of various diseases. Although rats seem to be more difficult to control than insects, experience has shown that their numbers can be effectively reduced if they are controlled in a coordinated manner by applying the right knowledge and techniques.
Rats can reproduce quickly by adapting to any environment. In a suitable and conducive environment, a pair of adult rats can produce about 2000 offspring a year and give birth to 4-12 cubs at a time. 42-50 days after birth, baby rats become capable of reproduction by becoming adults. This fast-breeding mammal vertebrate is damaging our various crops such as rice, wheat, maize, mustard, various fruits and vegetables in fields and warehouses, damaging our home furniture, electrical appliances, clothes, bedding and various installations. Apart from this, there are rats roaming everywhere including dams, railways, ships, ports, offices, maternity homes, irrigation canals. In a word, no wealth escapes from the hands of rats. In the country, up to 2-25 percent of paddy can be damaged by rats only when it is harvested and stored in warehouses. Studies have shown that if rice is kept in warehouses for three months, it can be damaged by 10 to 5 percent of rats. Rainfed and irrigated paddy lands suffer 5-18 per cent loss before harvest. In Bangladesh, rat attack destroys 5-6 per cent of aman paddy, 4-12 per cent of wheat, 5-6 per cent of potato and 8-9 per cent of pineapple. On an average 5-6% of field crops and 3-5% of stored grain are damaged. The problem of rats is not properly understood by the people of the village, no local method is enough to solve the problem. So this loss is accepted as normal. The biggest challenge is to understand the harmful effects of rats on the lives and livelihoods of rural people and to take appropriate control measures.

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