July 23-25, Trongsa: Bhutan’s conservation effort towards securing the wildlife habitats is often shadowed by a rampant Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) that is prevalent throughout the country. Of the many HWC incidences, crop depredation by wild herbivores is the most serious issue which leaves many farmers in woe. While many adaptive measures were tested to safeguard the crops from depredation, the most sought method is the use of locally fabricated solar electric fencing.
Ap Sonam, 49 years old is a resident of Jangbi, a small Monpa community under the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park (JSWNP). Having 3 acres of cultivable land where he grows wheat, buckwheat, barley, maize and paddy, he never had the privilege of harvesting full. Over 60-70% of the crops were lost to wild predators like wild boar, deer, sambar, porcupine and bear besides his sleepless nights guarding the crop in makeshift huts and installing numerous effigies around the field. ‘It is very saddening that besides regular guarding, I hardly get 30-40% of the harvest’, Ap Sonam said. ‘Looking to the fellow farmers who were beneficiary of electric fencing, I feel that it has a great advantage’, he added. He was not a beneficiary of solar electric fencing in the past and aspires to have one.
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