Rats gnaw away farmers'last hope after famine in Mizoram

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Aizawl, Jan 18 (UNI) The Mizoram farmers' hopes to boost their economy through rubber plantations have failed to materialise after rodents, proliferated following the Mautam (bamboo flowering) last year, gnawed away vast areas of the plantations.

Amafamcos (a multi-purpose cooperative society) had set up a nursery at Khamrang on Aizawl-Sairang-Silchar road last year, where it has developed 50,000 saplings of RRIM-600, a hybrid variety of rubber, imported from Malaysia.

''However, 30,000 of the total 50,000 rubber saplings were eaten up by rodents last year, shattering the Amafamcos' plans to distribute the saplings to farmers across the state for large scale cultivation,'' Amafamcos secretary A Lalmawia said here today.

''It has been proved that the climatic conditions of the state is suitable for rubber plantations and in fact, Mizoram has been identified for rubber plantations by the Centre. However, the state government is not heeding this,'' Mr Lalmawia said.

The society also managed to videograph the activities of rats, which attacked the rubber saplings and has reported it to the Kolasib DC and Kolasib DRDA project director.

''The officials have assured us all possible help. We will continue the nursery on a much larger scale from this year,'' the secretary added.

UNI ZS DPM PY AS1525

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