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Assam's Villagers Creates Separate Food Zones to Mitigate Man-Elephant Conflict

Villagers in Assam started a new and unique initiative of creating separate food zones for wild elephants to mitigate the Man-Elephant conflict in the state.

Assams Villagers Creates Separate Food Zones to Mitigate Man-Elephant Conflict

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  29 Nov 2021 11:32 AM GMT

GUWAHATI: The villagers in the Nagaon district of Assam have come up with a unique idea of separate food zones for wild jumbos in order to reduce the conflict between man and elephant.

To protect their paddy crops and to keep away themselves from the conflict with wild elephants the villagers have decided to make a separate food area for those wild elephants.

The man-elephant conflict in Assam often settled down with the death of both elephants and humans as the state has witnessed this type of rising man-elephant conflict every year which leads to loss of life and destruction of properties.

For the last three years, the villagers of the central Assam districts such as Hatikhali and Ronghang have been creating separate food zones for wild elephants in their areas to prevent elephants from destroying their paddy fields.

Notably, more than 600 villagers in those regions have given 33 acres of their own land for panting paddy crops meant only for wild elephants. They have also planted various saplings of jackfruit, banana plants and elephant apple for wild jumbos and in the hilly region, 400 bighas of the forest land have been used to grow grasses for wild elephants.

The hungry wild elephants often come down from the hills in search of food and damage the paddy fields grown by the farmers, they eat the paddy crops cultivated by farmers for a long time. There are numerous incidents that led to the death of farmers because of conflict between man and wild elephant.

The villagers feel that this step of a separate food zone has proved to be much successful in saving their paddy crops from wild elephants and it was also helpful in reducing the man-elephant conflict. This separate food zone for elephants was initiated in 2019 by the villagers as said by Binod Dulu Borah who is an environmentalist and local youth.

Borah stated that the villagers have made separate food zones for the wild elephant on 200 bighas of their own land as wild elephants from the hills destroys paddy fields and it takes 20-21 days for the herd of elephant to eat the crops completely.

He added that at that time the farmers harvest crops on 40,000 bighas in the region and earlier wild elephants have destroyed paddy crops cultivated on most of the 40,000 bighas of land but since this initiative, it has stopped.

Around 10-15 humans and 10-13 wild elephants have died earlier due to man-elephant conflict but none of the casualties has been reported in the last 3 years as mentioned by Borah. He also disclosed that villagers of 70-80 regions of Thuramukh, Numaligarh in 2021 have been successful in saving their paddy crops by creating separate food zone for wild elephants.

In the last ten years, a total of 812 people lost their lives in different areas of Assam because of man-elephant conflict as per the data by the Assam Forest Department.

Also read: Assam Jatiya Bidyalay in Guwahati Closed after 2 Teachers Found Covid Positive

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