Wild Animals and Farming
Can you imagine what goes through a farmer’s mind when he sees his farm is been ploughed by wild boars? The human animal conflict is a growing issue and we experience it first hand. Our farm is being visited by wild boars, rabbits, monkeys, civets, barking dear, birds and sometime wild elephants!
Is this a new issue? Not really. Wild animals used to come to farms all the time. However, the animal attacks were distributed over all the farms in the neighbourhood. Everyone used to have food crops. Everyone lost part of their crop to the wild animals however good the night watch was. There was a balance between the animals and farmers. Also there were traditional traps to catch some of the animals. For example, there were trap experts from the tribal community. Wild boar doesn’t have any natural predator in this region. Their fast growing numbers were kept in balance through these tribal traps.
Where did it go wrong?
More farmers turned into cash crops and the attacks got concentrated on the few farms with food crops. The damage was drastic. More farmers left food crop for cash crops due to the animal attack. On the other hand, the new generation (was convinced by Government and development agencies) considered tribal way of living primitive. With no one to control, the wild boar population soared and the attacks got intense. The remaining trap experts were threatened by forest laws. Reducing forest land added to situation.
So cultivation is impossible?
No, it is just that we have to strengthen the fences, keep vigil in the night and cultivate a lot so that we get a little. We have fence with live plants around our plots. The plants includes medicinal plants, Jetropha (Good for bio-diesel), Glyricidia (Fodder and manure) and flowering plants. Dogs were good to chase away wild boars. However, after a while the wild boars started chasing away the dogs! Now we are considering hunting dogs against wild boars.