Nepal: State of Affairs
In Nepal, the baseline survey was held with the focus to understand rodent issues, species, local perception, and management in three different geographic regions namely Kheruwa village of Letang Municipality in Province 1, Dadhikot of Suryabinayak municipality in Bagmati Province and Durbardevisthan of Gulmidurbar rural municipality in Lumbini Province.
The survey shows the rat problems were faced by all (respondents) and not limited to agricultural losses but also other properties in houses. Rodent damage to standing and stored crops varies from 8-21% for paddy rice (Dadhikot) to 30-35% for maize (Gulmidurbar). In Kheruwa village, rodent caused one month loss of the income1 for small-holder farmers. Besides crop loss, rat contaminates food items and utensils, damages bed mattresses and clothes etc. The types of storage materials also determine the severity of the crop loss in the storage. Storage materials like sacks, bhakari (made of bamboo) are very common with plastic and metal drum or containers used in few cases.
At present, all the effort to control rodent made so far are individual and ineffective either by using chemical rodenticide/poison or by locally made rat traps and by blocking rat routes or holes. Additionally, the poisons are often misused as proper information are not provided to farmers on how (much) to apply resulting to adverse long-term effects such as built-up resistance by rodents to synthetic poisons and its residues ending up in the environment harming other species.
The results conclude that people are not well equipped to cope with the damages caused by the rodents i.e. relying on individual effort with chemicals that are ineffective and are not aware of the rodent borne diseases.
This shows the need of awareness on health risks due to rodent infestation and contamination and training on effective rodent management with Ecologically-Based Rodent Management (EBRM).