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The year of the rat ends—time to fight hunger!

posted Sep 12, 2010, 7:22 PM by IRRC Coordination Unit   [ updated Sep 7, 2014, 7:47 PM by ]
This paper investigates the importance of ecologically based rodent management in the light of the current food crisis, and the potential effects of this approach on the position of the undernourished. Hunger and food prices are on the rise owing to shortages that can be traced to reasons such as climatic extremes, use of crops for biofuels, reduced growth in yields which lag behind population growth, reduced world stocks and lack of sufficient investment inmaintaining the irrigation infrastructure. For the undernourished this is problematic as they are most vulnerable to the rise in food prices. Very often, agricultural experts focus on an increase in agricultural production to reduce food prices. It is postulated in this article that almost 280 million undernourished could additionally benefit if more attention were paid to reducing pre- and post-harvest losses by rodents. Moreover, rodent-borne diseases would decrease, diseases that can be catastrophic to the livelihoods of the poorest of the poor.

Keywords: food crisis; rodents; harvest losses; rats; mice; rodent management

Citation: Meerburg BG, Singleton GR, Leirs H. 2009. The year of the rat ends—time to fight hunger! Pest Manag Sci. 65: 351–352.