Electric fencing of farmland is gaining popularity among many farmers across the country. They say that electric fence help in reducing crop damages. Therefore, it aids to increase crop cultivation with plethora of diversification. Farmers also spend less time guarding crops and it is helping in the downsizing the fallow land in the area.
A Babtong village in khoma geog is located around 6km from the geog center and with the funding support from BTFEC through Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary, a total area of 31 Acres belonging to 26 households mostly of paddy field were fenced with electricity in the year 2015. It was almost running three year under operation as of today and no problem been foreseen so far.
Electric fencing has eased the lives of farmers in Babtong village under khoma geog. They no longer have to spend sleepless nights in their farm houses guarding crops today. They are thankful for the technology as they can peacefully sleep at home after backbreaking farm work during the day.
Mr. Pelzang, 50, from Baitsagom village in Babtong chiwog said the electric fencing has not only helped people protect their crops from wild animals but has also enabled people to reclaim lands which were left fallow for many years mainly because of crop depredation by the wild animals.
On 13th February 2019, a Monitoring and Evaluation team led by the Director Dr. Pema Chophel from the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation and officials from BWS Park Range, Khoma made a visit to the electric fencing site at Babtong. Upon due interrogation, they shared the benefits of such technology and the use of electric fence in their agricultural field has reduced human-wildlife conflict drastically.
Electric fencing has been established in all the 20 Dzongkhags, and the positive outcome has helped to increase food sufficiency by 30 to 40 percent, apart from the reduction in crop damages by wild animals ( Source: MoAF).
The BTFEC Director has also informed to the gathering that in order to minimize the environmental degradation, very soon all the wooden post used for electric fencing will be replaced with fabricated iron or Pipe post. As such, BTFEC provided a funding support on research work to RNR RDC – Wengkhar and it will be materialized only at the end of 2019 fiscal year. Apart from the normal farming, he also emphasize more on off farm activities like going for Cane and bamboo plantation wherein long run the farmers income may be double up. While meeting with the public gathering, Director also informed that its worth to have clear mission & vision of their village to be a successful amongst other in Bhutan.
In general the electric fencing group at Babtong was instituted in the year 2015 with the funding support from the BTFEC HANAS Project through Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary and as part of cost sharing and to build sense of ownership, 30% contribution of total cost were made by the users and being deposited to the group account for electric fencing maintenance purpose in the perpetuity.
By Kunzang Thinley (Range Officer)
KhomaRange Office – Lhuentse
Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary.
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