Human-wildlife conflict continues to be a major issue in Trashigang

Farmers say it has become rampant now with wild animals destroying both the paddy and paddy field

Despite hard work of the farmers in implementing various strategies, human-wildlife conflict continues to be a major problem in Trashigang.   

Farmers said it has become rampant now with wild animals destroying both the paddy and paddy field.    

One of the farmers, Karma Kinley said wild boars and deer have now become the main issue, besides monkeys and porcupines. 

He said wild boars had destroyed his paddy field recently. The issue was also the same last year. He added that the wild boars damaged rice fields at least once every year.

 “Besides the shortage of water, human-wild animal conflict has made things worse for us,” he said.

As a measure to address the issue, the government has been supporting the farmers by providing electric fencing. However, it hasn’t helped the farmers much.

Another farmer, Chimi Dorji said though he had used electric fencing to protect his field from wild animals, it was not an effective measure against the boars. 

He said the animals have become familiar with the impacts of the electric fencing, break the wires and damage the field.

“It is disheartening to witness our crops being destroyed after all the hard work we put in for the paddy plantation,” he said.

He said they could not stay the whole night guarding the field as the distance between their field and house is long.

He said he had not harvested paddy so far that had not been damaged by the wild boars and other wild animals.

“We have to visit our field every day to prevent the damages from wild animals besides to supply water for the irrigation of paddy fields.”

 Another farmer, Tshering said water shortage makes it difficult for them to transplant paddy saplings initially and then the wild animals become a problem.

He said all of his works and efforts go in vain when boars and deer damage their paddy.

“I am discouraged to cultivate paddy next year as we face water shortage, besides the wild animals,” he said, adding that it would be difficult to start farming again if they keep the land fallow.

Dorji, 52, said it is disappointing to see wild animals damaging their paddy, especially the wild boars.

He said his field is damaged every year by the wild boars and deer.

“It disheartens us from cultivating paddy when we experience such damage every time,” he said.

However, he said they would face difficulty in purchasing a bag of rice if he left his land fallow. 

Tenzin Lhamo from Trashigang