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India Low Tech: Trapping Rats

by Langdon on January 12, 2008


Innovation is a global phenomenon, with application in every community. It brings change to every corner of the world, from Silicon Valley to Broadway, to the most remote farmer’s field.

In rural India, a impoverished tribe of rat-catchers has seen its fortunes significantly improved by the introduction of a simple, mechanical rat-catching device, which has significantly decreased rat populations, increased the food supply, and increased the incomes of the low-caste rat-catching tribe members.

The increased family income has enabled tribe members to send their children to school, which promises to improve the tribe’s literacy rate from an abysmal 1%.

It has also significantly increased local crop yields and thus the incomes of local farmers. On a global basis, about 20% of all crops are lost to rodents each year, so reducing the rat population is by no means a trivial matter.

Distributing the rat traps is a project of the Center for the Development of Disadvantaged People, an Indian non-profit organization.

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