Farmers of Lhayul village in Chudzom gewog in Sarpang are enjoying peaceful sleep thanks to the electric fencing.

Chudzom is the remotest of the dzongkhag’s 12 gewogs.

Until last year, half the farmers spent nights in the field, chasing and being chased by wild animals. It was particularly wild boar, deer, bear and reindeer that rampaged over their crops.

Farmer Dilli Ram Gurung said that nights in Lhayul had never been as peaceful as it is after the installation of electric fencing. During cultivation season, for about four months or until paddy ripened, at least one member of the family had to stay awake to make rounds in the field.

“We could barely harvest 20 percent of our crop,” he said. “I remember letting my cattle graze the field as there was nothing left to harvest.”

He explained that in a field that could grow 400kg maize, only 80kg was left for harvest after crop attack by wild animal.  Similarly, from paddy terraces that could produce more than 800kg, less than 120kg could be.

Another farmer, Chabi Lal Ghimeray, said that farmers in Chudzom had almost given up farming. Most of them have already turned their field into cardamom orchard.

“We expect increased harvest this year bue to electric fencing,” Chabi Lal Ghimeray said.

Gewog officials said that the fencing has benefitted 126 households.

Officials said that with the installation of electric fencing fallow land has decreased.

Chabi Lal Ghimeray, who had served as a local leader in the past, said despite having enough land to produce their own food, farmers had to buy ration after most of their crops were lost to wild animals.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Gelephu