Open Webinar, April 8: ‘Ecologically-based Rodent Control for Food Security’
Hope you are safe and in good health, and have found a bit of stability amid the drastic measures we are all having to take against the Corona virus. Our movements have been restricted; our operations have been limited. However, even as we are self-isolating, we can connect with each other online. And make use of this unprecedented situation to reflect upon our work and share our learnings.
In the coming weeks, we will be organising a series of webinars to do just that:
April 08: Ecologically-based Rodent Control for Food Security
We will kick off next week, discussing on April 08 (1145 AM CET, clickherefor local timings) a grossly under-discussed issue that (literally) eats into efforts to achieve food security across the world-- RODENTS.
They damage upto 15% of standing/stored crops globally. In Sub-Saharan Africa this figure goes up to 24%. In some regions of Ethiopia, rats and mice damage up to 46% of all the food grown. Across the whole country, these losses amount to more than 2 billion dollars. Besides, rodents cause injuries… and carry around 60 kinds of vector diseases such as the hanta virus.
Available solutions include chemical rodenticides. However, they have several limitations: they are usually too expensive for small farmers; have adverse effects on non-target species such as pets and livestock; and rodents usually develop immunity to them over time.
So it is important to develop alternative rodenticides with biological ingredients. Equally important is to manage the rodent problem at several fronts using a range of measures, and at a community/watershed scale (if measures employed in one part of the watershed, rodents simply migrate to another part).
This alternative approach—Ecologically-Based Rodent Management (EBRM)--- was implemented in several watersheds in Ethiopia’s Amhara region in 2019. The results are promising:
a bio-rodenticide has been developed, with production and marketing set to begin in 2020 by local women-led enterprises;
several field campaigns have been carried out, with thousands of rodents eliminated in agricultural fields and grazing lands;
Through these campaigns and trainings, scores of communities have been sensitized and equipped with the know-how necessary to implement rodent control measures at household and watershed levels
In this webinar, Luwieke Bosma from MetaMeta and Getachew Engdayehu from Amhara Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development will share their experiences implementing EBRM, and discuss its relevance to farmers elsewhere.