The Pilot Bio-Rcon will use biological rodenticides made of microorganisms in pellet form. The pellets will be scattered in fields.
The biological rodenticides are harmless towards other animal species and humans, environment friendly, highly biodegradable, has a long time span effectiveness and highly effective in the control of rats.
"Rat damages harm 5% of potential production, nationwide, not just in rice but also other crops, while for provinces, 50% of potential agricultural production is being affected by rodents," Mr. Delima said.
The pilot program will be implemented in the Region VI covering the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental and Region VII, covering Negros Oriental.
"Among the pilot areas, we will implement the program first in Iloilo and Negros Occidental," said Mr. Delima.
Earlier this year, 18 towns in Iloilo province were identified to have been suffering from rat infestation, according to the Provincial Agriculturist office (PAO).
Based on PAO data, at least 3,416.8 hectares of rice fields in Iloilo have been affected.
Aside from the Bio-Rcon program, the DA is also looking at an exchange of experts with its Cuban counterpart. "The Philippines will send coconut and rice experts while the Cuban Agriculture Ministry will send livestock, dairy and sugarcane experts to the country." -- Gillian Pearl L. Guerrero