Kerala Farmers Seek Solar Fences To Ward Off Wild Animals

By TheHindu on 01 Aug 2016 | read

PREVENTIVE MEASURE: Several farmers have suffered losses after animals destroyed their crops. File photo

Forest Department not working on fencing project despite SHRC order, allege farmers

Rural farmers of Kanthaladu and Thalayadu regions have called upon the Forest Department to speed up measures for the proposed solar fencing project aimed at protecting agricultural lands close to forest fringes.

Several farmers had recently faced huge crop loss following encroachment by wild animals on farm fields.

Though some worst-hit families had recently approached the district administration seeking compensation, officials had made it clear that it was the domain of the Forest Department, which was responsible for initiating action and looking into compensation claims. However, the families complained that the department had not taken any positive step.

Land for fences

Meanwhile, farmer leaders said they had recently secured a favourable order from the State Human Rights Commission, which directed the Forest Department to immediately start the solar fencing work. In the order, the department was also told find its own land to erect fences.

At the same time, it was asked to explore the possibilities of acquiring land from farmers if it could not identify its own land, they claimed.

Babu Raveendran, a farmer, said wild animals, especially monkeys, were playing havoc in farm fields by destroying cacao fruits, coconuts, and other food crops.

“The construction of solar fences covering forest borders alone will put an end to the crisis. We have learnt that an order in this regard has already been issued to the Divisional Forest Conservator,” he said.