It is estimated that rats are responsible for almost 20% of crop destruction in Cambodia. While rodenticide options do exist for farmers, many methods being used are harmful to both people and the environment such electrocution or poison. Our EPIC Venture Team Rat Hunter is developing a unique business solution with the potential to reduce crop infestation while providing additional income for farmers who can export for the rat meat market in Vietnam.
On the 5th of April, the Rat Hunter team went to Takeo to conduct door-to-door interviews with different farmers to find out the biggest problems regarding crop infestation and what forms of rodenticide/pesticide they are using. They also shared their business solution, involving a sound device that would not only deter rats from their crops but also lead them into humane traps, offering a safe and environmentally friendly option. After getting better insights into the scale of the rat problem and the methods to control it in this community, the team met with local rat hunters to learn from their skills and experience while getting their feedback on their product. The team also got the chance to learn about the rat-meat business by meeting with local rat trappers that were capturing rats for export to Vietnam.
Thanks to their research, the team have confirmed their assumptions regarding the extent of the rat infestation issue as well as make important connections in preparation for testing their prototype.
"From our research, I learned the importance of listening to your customer stories, limiting your own assumptions and learning how to accept new ideas and suggestions from your own customers." - Li Kun Meas, Team Rat Hunter