With the 4.5km electric fencing installed around the main cultivated land in Salipong village in Silambi, Mongar, farmers say life has become much easier for them.

Farmers also hope to reap better harvest this year.

A farmer, Ugyen Dorji, 64, said that with the land electric fenced, the farmers no longer have to spend sleepless night guarding crops.

He said that farmers in the village have been spending most of their nights in makeshift huts until now. “The wild animals also posed danger to our lives,” he said.”

Ugyen Dorji also said that the electric fencing benefitted them and they hope it will bring them economic development since the villagers plan to grow potatoes in large scale from next season.

Another villager, Ngawang Chimi, 57, said that the electric fencing has benefitted them since they no longer lose their crops to wild animals.

He said wild animals destroyed almost half of the yield every year. “We can now reap all we sowed.”

The electric fencing, according to the villagers, was installed with support from Tarayana Foundation and Gross National Happiness Commission (GNH).

Salipong village has eight households today. With the village surrounded by dense forest. Villagers say that although there are 14 households registered in the village, people from six households left to urban places because of human-wildlife conflict.

Meanwhile,  about 27km of electric fencing has been installed in the gewog between 2016 and 2017. About 6km of land at Changchama village was installed with electric fencing, 4.5km at Sheripong, 5km at Yari village, 4.5km at Salipong, and 7km at Dagg community.

Tarayana Foundation’s  program coordinator, Passang Tobgay, said that the electric fencing was installed with financial support from the government of India.

Tashi Phuntsho | Silambi