Mulungu, L.S., Mrosso, F.P., Katakweba A.A.S., Mdangi, M.E., Tesha, P.P.H., Ngowo, V., Mchomvu, M., Kilonzo, B.S.
Rodents are one of the major factors limiting crop production in Central-eastern Tanzania. A quantitative study was conducted at Hembeti village to obtain information on knowledge, attitude and practice of villagers with respect to rodent management. Structured questionnaires were administered to 30 randomly selected farmers and the results obtained were analysed by the SPSS Ver. 12 Computer programme. It was revealed that 80-90% of the farmers cultivate maize and paddy in small fields ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 acres. Rodents were reported to be the leading pests causing 20-60% crop losses both in fields and stores yearly. Methods used to assess presence of rodents in the area included presence of burrows and unearthed seedlings in fields and damaged grains and rodent noises in stores. It was further found out that farmers were responsible for control of rodents and that 53% and 47 % were using rodenticides and physical killing methods respectively. Financial constraints were reported to be the major factors limiting farmers to acquire and apply rodenticides. Need for training farmers on other management methods basing on ecological approaches was recommended.
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