Wild boars tearing up hard work of farmers at Tirpai


ARPAN PRADHAN

Gangtok, 16 Jul:

Crop damage by wild animals has left farmers of Tirpai under Sadam-Suntaley in South Sikkim exasperated. The village is located about an hour’s walk from the main road, and has been facing the problem of crop damage by wild boars for a while now.

After a video sent by one of the farmers flashed on social media platforms, Summit TIMES went to Tirpai to find out more.

Farmers inform that wild boars tear through two to three "Bharis" of standing maize on a daily basis which leads to a huge loss.

50-year-old, Lew Ram Dahal informs that the farmers of this area have been facing this problem for the past 5 years. Despite registering their complaints with the local authorities, panchayats, concerned departments, nothing has been done yet, farmers claim.

Mr Dahal has expressed his sadness saying that despite putting in hard work every day for a livelihood, farmers fail to reap the benefits of their labour because of the wild boars.

“We are fed up of complaining to the authorities as no one listens to us,” says Mr Dahal.

Their crops are being damaged also by wild rabbits, porcupines, and deer but it is the wild boars that are causing large scale damage.

Mr Dahal says that the only solution is to set up fencing to stop these animals from entering the fields.

It is learnt that fencing had been sanctioned but the construction work was stopped and delayed due to various reasons. Mr Dahal also said that the panchayats continue to ignore their plight.

“It is as if we are working the fields, just to feed wild boars,” says Anupa Dahal, daughter of the farmer.

All they want now is fencing to protect their fields from the wild boars.

“Departmental officers have visited our fields many times but no solution has been offered till now. We don’t want compensation from the department but a permanent solution and that is fencing which will benefit the whole village of Tirpai,” says another farmer, Jit Bahadur Pradhan.

“We are farmers - that is all we know. It is the only source of income for us but our crops are being damaged before harvest. Making an earning out of farming has become a dream. We are also feeling neglected by the authorities,” said Begum Rai.