Solar fencing makes life easier for Pangthang villagers

Solar fencing has eased the lives of farmers in Pangthang village as they no longer have to spend sleepless nights in their farmhouses guarding crops.

With more than 3Km solar fencing installed around the main cultivated land in Pangthang village under Kanglunggewog, life has become easier for villagers.

In this clustered village, potato is the main cash crop for the villagers, before the solar fence was installed, farmers would lose about 30% of the crops to wild animals.

Villagers said that last year, most of them were not able to take their harvest to the Food Corporation of Bhutan’s auction yard in SamdrupJongkhar as most of them lost their harvest to the wild animals.

“Although the potatoes fetched good prices last year we couldn’t take our harvest there,” said one of the villagers.

However, farmers hope to reap a better harvest this year.

Pangthang villagers said that now they will be able to earn more from the sale of crops, and sleep peacefully without having to worry about the wild animals.

Until last year, half the farmers spent nights in the field, chasing and being chased by wild animals. It was particularly wild boar and monkey that rampaged their crops.

SonamTshewang, 65, said that life became much relaxed after the land was solar fenced since they do not have to guard it.

He said that residents who spent sleepless nights in makeshift huts guarding their crops against wild animals could now sleep in their houses peacefully.

One of the village elders said it was very difficult in the past as they had to guard their crops at night.

She said that electric fencing has really benefited the villagers since they get to harvest what they cultivate.

Sangay, another villager said wild animals destroyed almost half of the yield every year. “It was like share-cropping then,” she said. “Not a single animal attacks our crops now.”

She said villagers only have to clear the bushes around the fence.

Meanwhile, PangthangTshogpa, TashiNamgyal said that people would be happy if all the fields in the village were solar fenced.

He said that there are some people in the village who are planning to install solar fencing on their own expenses.

Electric fencing in Pangthang is a big success but all is not a happy story as some farmers have to still guard their crops from wild animals since they do not have electric fencing.

Meanwhile, plans are in the pipeline to distribute the fencing wherever necessary according to the gewog officials.

Jigme Wangchen from Pangthang, T/gang