December 15, 2016
Farmers in the district today sought to put an end to and find a permanent solution for preventing wild animals, particularly elephants, entering their agricultural lands, resulting in the destruction of crops and financial loss.
During a meeting organised by the Forest Department with the farmer community on man-animal conflict here, aggrieved farmers were loud and clear about the need to put a full stop on animals entering their fields.
The farmers were financially hit due to frequent damages to the crops by wild animals, particularly elephants, wild boar, peacock and parrots, GR Palanisamy, a farmer in Thondamuthur, lamented.
Despite changing the cropping pattern, animals frequented the fields and destroyed them, forcing the majority of farmers to stay on the farm around the clock to protect crops, he said.
The majority of farmers wanted the department to erect elephant proof trenches along the Western Ghats, to prevent pachyderms from entering human habitations.
They also raised the issue that department officials used to complaint about non-availability of adequate workers, vehicles and crackers to drive away elephants from fields and suggested that they utilise vehicles that they remain unused in other government departments.
President of Farmers Association, S Palanisamy, urged the department to ensure food and water to wild animals inside the forest area, which was the main reason for elephants entering the human habitation.
In his remarks, District Forest Officer S Ramasubramaniam said that the department alone cannot prevent the man-animal conflict and the farmers or the public should immediately alert forest officials, when elephants enter fields, so that a person can be deployed to scare away the animals.
He also advised that the public not undertake to chase away wild elephants, which would be fatal, as was witnessed many instances.