Paddy collection from rat holes is going on in full swing across the district during the Aman harvest season.
According to sources presently many poor people at different areas under the district are engaged in collecting paddy from rat holes during the Aman harvest period to provide support to their insolvent family.
The extreme poor people living in different char areas in the district are also now engaged in recovering the foodgrains that have been stored by rats in their holes during this ongoing Aman harvest season.
Some poor people said every year they move around different areas in search of ratholes during harvesting time for collecting paddy. There is a risk of snake or rat bite. But they have to do it despite having such risk on account of extreme poverty.
Rats dig holes 5 to 7 feet deep in fields to store foodgrains. Poor people like them move around in different fields to look for the holes, they further said.
Maminul (45), of Talukhabu village under Gangachara Upazila in the district told The Financial Express that he has been collecting paddy from ratholes for the last 20 years. He manages to collect 10 to 12 kg foodgrain from a rat hole everyday. He can dig two to three holes a day, he further said.
Visiting different areas including some char areas under the district this FE correspondent found that a number of children were also engaged in collecting paddy from ratholes. Some children said they enjoy collecting grains from rat holes which the rodents deposit in the holes. "We can collect 5 to 8 kg paddy per day during harvesting period, and in this way we are giving support to our family", they also said.
The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) official sources said rats cause havoc to crops every year during harvesting time by storing huge quantity of foodgrains in their holes and thus they are severely affecting food production.
The ultra-poor people recover the grains stored in rat holes and earn their livelihood by selling the collected grains in markets, sources added.