Nim Dorji | Trongsa
The villagers of Tangsibji chiwog in Trongsa have been losing a large portion of their harvest to wild boars and other wild animals every year.
Villagers said that they have been facing these problems after the Mangdechu, a river that surrounds their village and 162-acre fields, was diverted through tunnels. Diversion is also planned for another river, the Nikachu.
It has been more than a year since the Mangdechu was diverted through the tunnel, and after two years, the Nikachu will be also diverted through the tunnel.
Phuntsho Wangdi from Tangsibji said that before, there weren’t many incidents of wild animals attacking the fields, but these days they see many wild animals such as wild boars, bears, and deer raiding their crops.
“If we are provided with chain link fencing, the benefits will extend even to the next generation,” he said.
In the absence of an effective solution, the villagers have to guard the fields from monkeys in the daytime, and from other wild animals at night.
Another villager, Kinley Tenzin, said that the land is favourable for the villagers to grow all varieties of grain.
With the problem worsening over the years, farmers have resorted to leaving their fertile fields fallow. “It’s difficult guarding the fields from the wild animals, which is why around 30 percent of the fields are left fallow,” he said.
“Electric fencing is not reliable because the animals become used to it and can breach it easily,” he added.
The villagers say that it is tiring for them to work in the day and guard the fields at night. If the situation does not improve, farmers said more fields will be left fallow, and the younger generation won’t be interested in farming anymore.
The villagers say that as the paddy fields are located together, chain link fencing would be effective.
The villagers wrote to the gewog to request chain link fencing and informed their Nubi-Tangsibji representative in Parliament.
Tangsibji tshogpa Wangchuk said that 7km electric fencing was installed at the beginning of the 11th Five-Year Plan. “It has helped the villagers to protect their fields immensely, but maintenance has been expensive, and costs around Nu 50,000 annually.”
Wangchuk said that if the village is provided with chain link fencing, it will save them the repair budget.
They said that a chain link fence could keep the wild animals away from the fields completely. “The base will be concrete and it is a high fence that will be impossible for animals to climb over.”
The issue was raised during the 10th dzongkhag tshogdu (DT), when the Tangsibji gup requested approval for the work.
Gup Gyembo Dorji said that if the DT approves the project, the MP of Nubi-Tangsibji will seek funding. “We will also request help from Nikachu power project.”
Since the project was not included in the 12th Five-Year Plan, the DT asked the gewog to explore funds from other projects.
There are around 82 households in Tangsibji chiwog.
Edited by Tshering Palden