Crops ravaged by wild boar in Yumdang and FEF no longer scares wild animals

โ€ฆ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’“ ๐’†๐’๐’…๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’„๐’๐’๐’‡๐’๐’Š๐’„๐’• ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’•๐’˜๐’†๐’†๐’ ๐’‰๐’–๐’Ž๐’‚๐’ ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’˜๐’Š๐’๐’… ๐’๐’Š๐’‡๐’†

Sonam Deki

Wild boars are destroying farms at an alarming rate, said the residents of Yumdang, Panbang Dungkhang, Zhemgang Dzongkhag. They are weary with wild boars destroying their crops on a regular basis.

โ€œWild boars have been a concern for the villagers every year. Unlike previous years, this year saw widespread agricultural destruction by wild boar,โ€ said Chipoen (messenger) Leki Choizang of Yumdang.

Karma Samten, a farmer said, โ€œWe have to stay up all night guarding the field because of wild boars. We even built small huts near the field so that we could alternately guard it because wild boars usually encroach between the hours of 8 pm and 11 pm, and occasionally at 3 amโ€.

He went on to say โ€œI spent nearly 12 to 13 thousand Ngultrum on crops and with wild boar damage, itโ€™s difficult to even match the amount we spent, forget about the profit. Wild boars have destroyed 20% (percent) of my crops, while one of my neighbors must be bearing 50% of the lossโ€.

Every year, they grow rice, maize, and oranges. Dargay said, โ€œIf the crops are grown well without any damage, the harvested rice will last half a year without having to rely on Indian rice.โ€

He further said โ€œWe canโ€™t make it commercial because we only have a few acres of terraces, but we can sustain for practically a year with one-time plantation. We rely on rice for a yearโ€™s worth of food if they can harvest it successfully. They make local alcohol from maize and sell it to generate money for their basic necessities โ€œ.

Another farmer said โ€œThe wild boars have destroyed numerous crops. However, we are fortunate that we never come face to face encounter with wild boars. If that happens, they will undoubtedly harm us โ€œ.

Chipoen said, โ€œWe have raised this issue in the telegram group โ€˜Times of Panbangโ€™. However, there is no response. The group is the official group where we keep everyone up to date on the latest news and problems. All Panbang Dungkhang officials are represented in the groupโ€.

Rinchen Tshering, Panbang Gup said, โ€œWild boar problems exist not only in Yumdang, but throughout the country. Even if we want to help people, dealing with human-wildlife conflict is difficult. Furthermore, due to financial constraints, we cannot afford to provide a Fabricated Electric Fence (FEF) to every household. Some people in the nearby village use FEF, but they claim it is no longer reliable as the FEF no longer scares wild animals. Other alternatives such as sound and light repellents are even more expensive than FEF to use โ€œ.

According to Extension Supervisor, Department of Agriculture said, โ€œWild boars destroying crops is a widespread issue in many areas. So far, we have not received any complaints about wild boars harming crops. If we get such a complaint, we will first conduct a field investigation and then decide on appropriate measuresโ€.

Last year, we planned on providing them with the electric fence which has to be installed by themselves and would involve time and resources. However, citing that there are only elderly people living in the village and that they will not be able to work, they denied of it, the Extension Supervisor added.

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