If we talk about food security and if we want to reduce water loss, we should also talk about rodents.
Rodents (rats, mice, moles, etc..) have always been and still are a large problem in Asia and Africa. They have a huge impact on agriculture, human health and property. In Ethiopia, rats and mice eat about 15% of the stored harvest. In effect, this wastes the water that was required to produce the crop in the first place. In Tanzania, farmers can lose up to 40% of the stored maize output. The impact of rodents on food security is obvious and the volume of water lost in producing the crop is enormous. Additionally, rodents transmit more than 60 types of diseases.
The most common method to control rodent pests is the use of chemical rodenticides, mainly anticoagulants. However, they have adverse effects on human but also on various wild animals. Besides, rodents are building up resistance against some rodenticides.
Therefore, it is imperative to look for non-chemical and eco-friendly alternatives for rodent control.
The purpose of this webinar is to explore ecological methods to control rodent populations and the damage they cause in South Asian and African countries; methods that are currently in use as well those that could be possible options in the future. Emphasis will be on the use of plants as repellents.
Dr. Steven Belmain (Greenwich University, UK). Dr. Belmain has worked with rural farming communities throughout Africa and Asia, helping to resolve pest and disease problems by spreading awareness of ecological issues and developing sustainable rodent control solutions. (15 minutes)
Dr. Bastiaan Meerburg (Wageningen University, The Netherlands). An expert on pesticides, Dr. Meerburg has worked on various scientific projects in the field of pest control. He is currently working on a research project examining genetic resistance of brown rats. (15 minutes)
Dr. Frank van Steenbergen (Director, MetaMeta and Convenor, Flood Based Livelihoods Network). Dr. Steenbergen has extensive experience working as a Natural Resource Management in the areas of irrigaton management, groundwater management, and rural livelihoods. He will share examples of recently documented rodent control methods, from Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe. (5 minutes).
Flavia Simona Cosoveanu (MetaMeta) will organise and moderate the webinar.
The presentations will be followed by an interactive session where the speakers will respond to questions and comments from the audience.
- Video: Ecologically-based rodent management: IRRI 2009 annual report
- Video: How to control rice-field rats
- Video: Of rice and rats: An introduction to ecologically based rodent management
- Blog: The use of plants for biological rodent control
- Blog: Dealing with rodents