Wild animals’ attacks on crop worry farmers

[lang_en]KUMARHATTI: The wild animals’ and stray cattle attacks on crops have gained alarming proportion in this area. The hard earned produce of farmers was virtually at the mercy of animals like monkeys, boars and abandoned cows. Fed up, disgusted and helpless the farmers were clueless to get rid of problem. The standing crops in fields were being destroyed by animals on large scale. The tough norms to get permission to kill animals have left no other option for farmers than to remain mute spectators to animal destruction.

In past few years the boars have emerged as a major threat to standing crop in fields. The farmers of Subathu, Dharampur, Banasar and Kabakalan areas were continued to reel under the fear of boars’ attack. The maize crop has faced unprecedented loss from boars that generally attacked around mid night. In certain pockets the standing maize crop in this season has virtually wiped out from fields due to boars attacks. The vegetable crops were other soft targets for animals.

Unlike monkeys the permission to kill boar has not delegated at forest range offices. In monkey case the farmers could get person to kill money from Forest Range Officer whereas in boars’ case the authority was with Chief Wildlife Warden. Thus the hassles over getting permission in boar case have kept farmers shy to take permission on large scale

Criticizing the successive state governments for defunct agriculture policy in state, Mr. Jagdish Bhardwaj a HP state secretariat member of CPI has said that in the lack of effective policy the animals’ menace has gained alarming proportion.

He said that in 1996 he had submitted a memorandum to the then central forestry ministry led by Prof Saifudeen Soz .It was pleaded than to kill the animals particularly the monkey in order to save the crop, he said. Acting on the memorandum the ministry had allowed culling the animal responsible for major losses to crop, he asserted. Ironically these arrangements were not implemented in HP, he pointed out.

Moreover decision to ban the export of monkeys to European countries in 1978 had not only cost central government the major revenue but helped to swallow the monkey population manifold, he said. Had the ban on export not forced the large population of monkeys would not become a major threat to agriculture in state, he maintained.

Each monkey was exported at whopping amount of Rs. 5-lakh thanks to its 70-percent feature resemblance with human, he said. The Janta Party had banned the export terming it against country religious values, he remarked. The animals’ problem has emerged as challenge now, he said adding there was an urgent need to either sterilize them or to kill them

The problem of stray cattle was a man made, said a local senior Congress leader. It was farmers’ duty to take full care of his cattle. He said that during its rule the Congress had taken many steps to counter the animals’ problem. The Solan district has already three Gaushala where the unproductive abandoned cattle’s were kept, he maintained. The previous Congress govt had also announced to make all panchayats having over 500 cattle to register them properly. This arrangement was made to find those farmers who abandoned their cattle after they turned unproductive, he asserted

Commenting on the problem, Mr. N.D. Rannot the CPM Solan District Secretary pointed out that the subsides in cattle fodder should be enhanced on the pattern of European countries. In the lack this, farmers were left no other option than to abandon their cattle, he said. The export of monkeys should be opened again, he maintained.

He further said the successive state governments have failed to understand the problem hence large tract of arable land has turned barren. Without agriculture the farmer has left meager income avenues to make their both ends meet, he said adding it was a high time for political parties to come on a common platform to save farmers from problem.

The animal menace has emerged as a major threat to farm occupation in area, opined Mr. Pyare Lal Verma the Secretary of Solan Kisan Sabha. The vet facilities should be made available at grassroots level so that farmers could get maximum benefits of it. The most of cattle were abandoned for want of timely vet facilities, he remarked.[/lang_en]

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