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Book Review: Rice Pests of Bangladesh- Their Ecology and Management
Authors: Zahirul Islam and David Catling

The University Press Limited
Red Crescent House, 6th Floor
61 Montijheel C/A
GPO Box 2611, Dhaka 1000
Bangladesh
Website: http://www.uplbooks.com.bdo
e-mail: upl@bangla.net

2012, 422 pages
ISBN: 978 984 506 048 6
2003, 512 pages
Price: Tk. 1600.00
Hard cover

Rice Pests of Bangladesh provides a comprehensive coverage of all of the abiotic constraints to rice production in the field and of pests in storage. The quality of this publication is enhanced by the fact that it brings together the accumulated data and experience of the two authors over the last 30 years. The 14 chapters and 422 pages cover all aspects of rice pest management including pests, yield loss, major control strategies and rice IPM.

Chapter 1 is entitled “Bangladesh and Rice.” Chapter 2 discusses the concepts of rice growth and pest status. Chapters 3-7 cover the early vegetative insect pests, general defoliators, stem borers, sap feeders and minor invertebrate pests. Chapter 8 discusses the vertebrate pests; rodents and birds. Chapter 9 provides a comprehensive coverage of the rice diseases; fungal, viral, bacterial and nematodes. The major weed species, their ecology severity and management are covered in Chapter 10. Chapter 11 explains the concepts of yield loss including mechanisms, plant compensation and yield loss assessment methods. Pests of rice in storage including insects, fungi and rodents are explained in Chaptger 12. Provides a detailed coverage of the major control strategies including cultural control, plant resistance, biological control and chemical control and pesticides. Chapter 14 covers the IPM of rice pests; concepts, principles, current management systems and new concepts for IPM in Bangladesh rice production.

This profusely illustrated book with an underlying IPM and ecological approach takes a fresh look at yield losses from insects and diseases and contains a wealth of information for rice plant protection specialists. It is specifically targeted to students, teachers, researchers, extension officers and agricultural development workers. The value of this book is enhanced as the information therein is not only relevant to Bangladesh but also applies to the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam and Bihar.

Prof. E. A. “Short” Heinrichs
Associate Director Emeritus
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE 68583-0748 USA

Research Professor, UNL Department of Entomology
Secretary General, International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS)
Email: eheinrichs2@unl.edu

 

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James J. English/Armed Forces Pest Management Board

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Speed read
– A €1 million project aims to control the spread of rodents in Africa

– It will harness sustainable tech and ecological ideas, demonstrating them locally

– It will also connect scientists across the continent to disseminate best practices

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A project to control the spread of rats and mice in Africa has won a €1 million grant (nearly US$1.4 million) from the European Development Fund and, according to researchers, could transform food security on the continent.

The StopRats project, whose members met at the University of Greenwich, London, last month (20 January), has a threefold purpose. It will work with Africans to show them how simple, existing technologies can best be harnessed to reduce rodent numbers; explore ecological techniques, such as using predators to control pest numbers; and disseminate best practices by connecting scientists working on rodent control across the continent.

Rodents cause many problems in developing countries. As well as destroying food crops and household property and items, they are also vectors of deadly diseases.

“Here in Tanzania, investigators have recorded losses of up to 400,000 tonnes of maize due to rodents, which could feed around 2.5 million people per year and is valued at US$40 million,” says Apia Massawe, co-investigator on the StopRats project, and a professor at the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania. “Rats are also reservoirs of more than 64 diseases known to affect humans, among the most serious of which are bubonic plague and Lassa fever.”

Current rodent pest management in Africa depends largely on the use of rodenticide poisons. These work well in some cases, but their use is increasingly challenged because of the damage they cause to human health and the environment. Many smallholder farmers also often find such poisons to be ineffective, unaffordable or unavailable, according to Steve Belmain, coordinator of the StopRats project and an ecologist at the University of Greenwich’s National Resources Institute.

StopRats intends to educate African communities about the existing tools and technologies available to manage rodents cost-effectively. The project plans to deliver workshops, seminars and radio programs, and to identify stakeholders in need of the technologies, such as farmers and pest controllers.

It also plans to introduce novel strategies for ecologically-based rodent management. For example, encouraging predators such as owls and birds of prey to nest in fields increases the mortality pressure on rodent populations. Other strategies that will be explored include barrier systems that keep rats from crops, and more effective trapping systems that are also easier to set.

The team will be demonstrating the ideas at a local level, hoping that this will encourage uptake by local people.

“None of these technologies are particularly new,” says Belmain. “We’ve been trapping pests for millennia, but StopRats isn’t only about researching what works best where — it’s about capacity building and getting different stakeholders in a country working together, which can be very effective if people coordinate over a period of time.”

According to Massawe, African scientists researching rat control methods “seem to be working in isolation”.

“The StopRats project aims to break this barrier by bringing these scientists together and establishing mechanisms for information-sharing and exchange of knowledge,” she says.

StopRats is just one example of a project hoping to identify science, technology and innovation priorities for rodent-related research. Other recent examples include training rats to detect landmines in Mozambique and tuberculosis in Tanzania.

http://www.scidev.net/global/capacity-building/news/african-project-aims-to-stop-rats-in-their-tracks.html

 

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