Demonstration of Effective Management Option for Mole Rat of Enset in Kafa Zone

Minyahil Kebede Earecho


Enset (Enset ventricosum) cultivation has existed for several hundred years as a sustainable form of agriculture in Ethiopia. However, the sustainability of Enset based agriculture is threatened by a number of factors. The main biotic stresses are bacterial wilt, the Enset root mealy bug and mole rats. Mole rats (Spalax ehrenbergi) were reported as being as destructive of Enset as bacterial wilt. Mole rats can be controlled by using trap, chemicals and smokers. There are some botanicals plants that can repel the mole rats. In order to minimize mole rats attack, farmers of the study area  were tried many option like  directing flood and/or pouring water in to the mole tunnels,  locally made traps and excavating the mole tunnels. But, they were not satisfied because of their less effectiveness and also need more human labor and time. Besides this – due to extreme mole rats attack on Enset farms at the study area – the farmers also lost their endeavors to control moles and they were obligated to replace their Enset farms by annual crops. Taking these in to account, the crop protection team of BoARC was demonstrated the fumigant aluminum phosphide to control mole rats on Enset farms in Kafa zone of Adiyo district at Boka and Alarigeta villages. The demonstration was conducted on a plot size of 10m x 10m at Enset farms of five farmers per village. The demonstration manifested that, the fumigant aluminum phosphide was a significant impact on mole rats mobility through the plots and the number of attacked Enset. Likewise, farmers of the study area were preferred aluminum phosphide rather than the practices they were familiar with in the past to control mole rats. In conclusion, aluminum phosphide was recommended for scaling up to minimize the damage of mole rats to Enset crops in highly mole rat prone areas.

Keywords: Aluminum phosphide; Enset; Management option; Mole rat

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