Throughout the prototype development, we have done different types of testing. The first necessity
was to determine whether the botanicals are effective and have potential to either sicken or kill rats.
The treatments with a mix of 2 botanicals showed highest potential. Early results in Phase 2 showed
that the combination of 1 highly effective botanical, with one of the other botanicals, was most
effective – leading to more than 40% mortality. Based on these results we focused to test a range of
aspects critical for its successful marketing in practice, narrowed down to the most effective
treatments. These aspects include: Palatability and bait attractiveness, non-target harm and lethal
dose. Lethal Dose for the 4 most promising treatments was tested, informing the exact composition
of the novel alternative biological rodenticide product.
A quick summary of the steps that have been taken in the process of selecting a prototype:
- Testing of each botanical in single and mixed forms.
- Testing of the most preferred bait to attract rats.
- Double testing of the most promising mixtures consisting of 2 botanicals.
- Choice experiments in the lab and in the field to verify its palatability.
- Tests on chickens to determine non-target safety.
- Testing of lethal dose for the four most promising treatments.
As a result from the different tests, we selected a top-4 of mixtures based on critical criteria on:
technical working mechanism, user demand and production methods. This resulted in a ranking with
a clear ‘winner’, this product is selected as the prototype and is currently being produced by over 10
SMEs consisting of women with a business spirit in localities of Amhara region. We are introducing
the bio-rodenticide to farmers where it is received with great enthusiasm and satisfaction. The
farmers are so happy with the new product that we are working hard to upscale the production
process to fulfil the rising demand.