Wild animals damage crops in Bjena

Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue

Wild boars are back in Bjena gewog, Wangdue. This time they are attacking the paddy fields even with the fields protected with electric fencing.

For past two weeks, wild boars have been trampling the fields of Ngawang-Tongchennang chiwog in Bjena gewog, Wangdue. According to a farmer in Sha Ngawang, Lhatu, nearly 30 decimals of his paddy field were damaged by wild boars two weeks ago. He said that the boars have been also running wild in paddy fields belonging to around 16 other households in the village. “Damage on a smaller scale is done in all fields in the village.”

Farmers have resorted to guarding their fields like before the installation of electric fencing. “It is quite similar to the olden days. We go around shouting to chase the wild boars away. I do fall asleep sometimes. Just this morning, the boars were running wild in the field,” a farmer, Gyeltshen said.

This routine will continue until the paddy is ready for harvest.

“We will have to do this for another one month. The wild animals attack the fields, when paddy is about to ripe,” Gyeltshen said.

Farmers in the chiwog received electric fences more than five years ago. While the fences are in good shape, overgrowth of weeds along the fences has made then ineffective. Bjena gup Khandu said that lack of ownership had been an issue with the electric fences in the chiwog.

He added that wild boars, deer and monkeys were common in the gewog and caused damage to all fields. “Wild boars are increasing every year. The boars dig holes and make through the fences.”

Farmers are suggesting introducing a penalty system, whereby farmers who don’t maintain the electric fences are charged a certain amount. Ngawang-Tongchennang chiwog tshogpa Tshering Nidup said that materials to replace the fences, which were damaged were also provided in the past. He added that this year, this couldn’t be done due to the pandemic.

In Bjena gewog, paddy and potatoes are cultivated at a commercial level. Winter crops such as cauliflowers are also popular in the gewog.

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