Unlike the past, farmers of Kamdar Moormo chiwog in Lhuntse have started guarding their maize saplings now, as wild animals are rampaging the crop.

Farmers said in the past, they never worried after sowing maize seeds until it started bearing corn but this year bear, boars, deer and pheasant attacked the crop the moment it started sprouting.

“Usually wild animals like bear, boar and deer attacked the crops only when the maize bear corns,” a farmer said.

About five households in the village have lost their maize saplings to the wild boars recently. The wild boars uprooted the saplings.

Sonam Choden, 51, lost maize saplings grown in her one and half langdos of land. One langdo is the land a pair of oxen could plough in a day.

The mother of five said she sowed the seeds about two weeks ago. “The wild boars never attacked maize saplings before,” she said.

Another victim, Sonam Tshomo, said that she spend Nu 50,000 to sow maize in an acre of land. “The wild boars uprooted the saplings and deer ate it.”

The situation is worse for Nangsimo, who works as a sharecropper. She said she sowed maize in an acre of land. “I will have to share the yield but the boars, deer and pheasant didn’t leave anything.”

She said she will have to sow the seeds again. “Maize is a staple diet for my family.”

Farmers said that they not only depend on maize as an essential food, they also sell maize products to educate their children and send to relatives. They also feed it to cattle.

Farmers said that a solar fencing could solve the problem.

The chiwog tshogpa, Deki Yangzom, said that she submitted the damage report to gewog.

Menbi gup Tsherimla said that gewog cannot do anything. “But I have submitted the report to the dzongkhag agriculture sector.”

He said that he will also raise the issue during dzongkhag tshogde and relevant agencies like agriculture and forest.

The dzongkhag agriculture officer, Dorjee, said that they do not have a budget to help the victims immediately. “We can provide saplings but in this case, farmers can grow again.”

He said the agriculture sector could provide saplings next season.

He also said that a three kilometres solar fencing is ongoing in the chiwog. “Farmers could benefit from this.”

Tashi Phuntsho | Takila