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Farmer named rat-killing champion

08 October 2015, 13:50

Dhaka - Bangladesh has crowned a new national champion rat killer after his team eradicated more than 160,000 rodents in the past 12 months, officials said Thursday.

Farmer Abdul Khaleq Mirbohor won 20,000 Bangladeshi taka ($250) at a ceremony in Dhaka Wednesday for eliminating 161,220 rats in a year as part of a nationwide campaign to stop grain being devoured by rodents.

"Mr Mirbohor is a passionate rat killer. During the ceremony, he told the dignitaries that nothing gives him pleasure (more) than killing grain-eating rodents," Abul Kalam Azad, head of the government's plant protection unit, told AFP.

Mirbohor hired mostly women volunteers to kill the rats in paddy and wheat fields, then submitted the tails of the deceased animals to the regional agriculture office to count them.

"I've been killing rats since 1996. I love killing them. They are the enemy of the country and people. They devour grains, ground nuts and spread diseases," the 55-year-old farmer told AFP.

Government official Borhan Uddin said the farmer was "obsessed" with killing rats. "Fellow villagers called him mad. He is like a Pied Piper of Hamelin," he said.

Rodents destroy 1.5 million to two million tonnes of food in Bangladesh annually, the Ministry of Agriculture estimates.

Farmers in the predominantly agricultural nation have killed nearly 13 million rodents in the last 12 months, saving $25 million of food, officials said.

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