May 21, Lhuentse: Farmers in Jasabi under Kurtoed gewog are pleased that the 4 km solar fencing installed in 2015 is still effective at keeping wild animals at bay.
The village situated at a low elevation has a favourable climatic condition for agriculture. Farmers mainly grows maize, paddy, potatoes and other vegetables particularly for their own consumption.
Prior to the solar fencing, wild animals were a major concern for farmers during harvest time. They used to follow traditional means to chase away wild animals by making loud noise, shouting and staying awake and guarding their crops from rampaging at night. Yet, they used to lose more than 50% of their hard work to wild boars and deer leaving them in despair.
The Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector then helped farmers install the solar fencing with fund from the Climate Change Adaptation Program (CCAP). Farmers with technical assistance from forest and agriculture officials installed the fencing as a part of hands-on-training in 45 days. It benefits eleven households and covers 20 acres of wetland and 17 acres of dryland.
According to Sonam Dorji, the village tshogpa who is currently busy with paddy transplanting, ‘They are today breathing a sigh of relief’. He added that with the fencing life is much better as they are now able to reap everything and could devote more time to perform other household chores and farming. He added since the village has more forests and less households, the fencing has been a boon for them which also relieves them from their routine night duty at field.
The villagers takes care of the fencing maintenance on their own annually and also as and when required. During harvest time, they makes a round every day to ensure the wires are functioning properly and their opponents stay away.
The fencing, the first of its kind in the gewog has proved to be beneficial for villagers. Considering the impacts, the gewog has completed installing a total 22.5 km of fencing in villages including Jasabi, Marshong, Serzhong, Menbi, Ngarey and Wawel, according to the gewog agriculture extension officer, Ugyen Wangchuk. He added that following the installation, the gewog has also been able to bring 2.34 acres of fallow land under cultivation by promoting mixed orchard and cardamom.
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