Choki Wangmo | Tsirang
Six households from Pabji village of Tshamzhigosa chiwog in Lhamoidzingkha lost about nine acres of cardamom to wild elephants earlier last month.
As the only cash crop, cardamom is the main source of income for the farmers there.
Farmers said the wild animal damaged everything they grew within two to three consecutive nights.
In the last season, each farmer harvested about seven to 13 mon (40kg per bag) of dried cardamom and earned between Nu 168,000 to Nu 312,000.
Farmers said the wild elephants not only damaged the crops by trampling, but also feasted on the entire plants and shoot.
A farmer, Yam Bdhr Gurung, said they were helpless. “We wish there is compensation for the loss.”
The gewog administration submitted the human-wildlife conflict (HWC) assessment of the damage to the drungkhag administration. The drungkhag has forwarded the report to the dzongkhag administration.
Lhamoidzingkha gup, Surja Bahadur Limboo, said the gewog is yet to hear from the dzongkhag about the compensation.
The gup said he has also forwarded a letter and the report to the Department of Forests and Park Services, seeking compensation for farmers according to the forest laws and guidelines.
Meanwhile, staying near the porous borders, Lhamoidzingkha residents are in constant conflict with wild animals.
Last year, a 62-year-old woman from the same chiwog succumbed to injuries sustained after an elephant attacked her.
The gewog administration has adopted measures such as planting agave plants to tackle the issue.
Dagapela forest division has also carried out interventions such as the installation of electric fencing and habitat management activities in the dzongkhag.