Rodent attacks reported in 33 villages of 4 Mizoram districts: Official

Published on Sep 19, 2022 10:32 PM IST

Mizoram agriculture department director James Lalsiamliana said three blocks in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district reported the largest number of rodent attacks

The infestation in paddy fields is believed to be linked to the upcoming ‘Thingtam’ or flowering of a particular bamboo species called Bambusa Tulda, in 2025. (HT File Photo/Representative image)
The infestation in paddy fields is believed to be linked to the upcoming ‘Thingtam’ or flowering of a particular bamboo species called Bambusa Tulda, in 2025. (HT File Photo/Representative image)
ByH Lalhlimum

Aizawl: There has been an increase in rodent attacks ahead of the expected ‘Thingtam’ or flowering of Bambusa Tulda, a variety of bamboo, in 2025, an official of Mizoram’s agriculture department said on Monday.

James Lalsiamliana, the state’s agriculture department, said rodent attacks have been reported in about 33 villages across four districts.

He said Lunglei, Lungsen and Bunghmun blocks of south Mizoram Lunglei district bordering Bangladesh and Tripura’s Mamit district in the western part of the state were among the worst hit.

The infestation has affected crops on 295.6 hectares, he said.

Milder rodent attacks were reported in Saitual and Khawzawl districts in the northeastern part of the state, he said.

The infestation is believed to be linked to the upcoming ‘Thingtam’ or flowering of a particular bamboo species called Bambusa Tulda, (Rawthing in local parlance), which is due in 2025, he said. Besides, it is also said to be linked to the flowering of Dendrocalamus species, a tropical Asian genus of giant clumping bamboos, in parts of the state.

The official said that the government is making efforts to control the rat population by providing poison to farmers and organising awareness programmes among them.

He, however, added that the current rodent outbreak is unlikely to have much impact on the rice or crop production of the state.

James Lalsiamliana said the last ‘Thingtam’ in Mizoram was in 1977 and is expected to recur in 2025. He said flowering of Bambusa Tulda also occurs 17 years after ‘Mautam’ or flowering of ‘Mautak’.

Mizoram witnessed a famine-like situation in 2007 due to the flowering of Melocanna Baccifera when swarms of rats ravaged paddy fields across the state.

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