Madurai

Bio-repellent keeps wild boars at bay

Success formula: A bio-repellent being sprayed using a drone at Vellamalaipatti village of Usilampatti taluk in Madurai on Thursday.  

For the past 10 years, farmers in Usilampatti and Peraiyur taluks have been facing trouble in protecting their crops from wild boars.

The farmers, with the help of the district administration, are trying out a bio-repellent on a trial basis to prevent the entry of wild boars and bears into farmlands.

Usilampatti Revenue Divisional Officer K.V. Rajkumar said, a week back, they sprayed the bio-repellent diluted with water on half-an-acre of farmland at Vellamalaipatti. “There is no sign of animal intrusion ever since, though it can be seen in adjacent fields,” he said.

Buoyed by this, the bio-repellent was sprayed on five more acres of farmland in the village on Thursday using a drone. “We have expanded our trials to see its efficiency. The formulation is such that the smell of it is said to drive away the wild boars,” he said.

Farmers of Madurai district Wet and Dry Land Farmers’ Association had petitioned the RDO seeking solution regarding this issue which is prevalent in 13 villages of Usilampatti block and 19 villages of Peraiyur block.

Mr. Rajkumar said, based on the request of farmers, the district administration had contacted the Chief Executive Officer of Agri Business Consortium of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in, Coimbatore. “He suggested trying out this bio-repellent. This formulation has also been approved by the forest departments in parts of Kerala and by the Krishi Vigyan Kendra of Ariyalur. We have to wait and see how it works out in the villages of Usilampatti,” he added.

“As these villages lie on the foothills of Western Ghats, wild boars raid the farmlands at night and destroy the crops. This has demotivated many farmers to continue with agriculture. It has deeply impacted small and marginal farmers,” said P. Manikandan, president of the farmers’ association.

The issue has also changed the crop pattern in these villages, said the RDO. “Until a decade back, many farmers raised tapioca, which fetches them good profits. But, since the crop gets easily attacked by the wild animals, many have shifted to cultivate jasmine and green vegetables,” he said.

Fencing was also not an affordable option for many farmers, says O. Soundarapandian, a volunteer.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 9:19:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/bio-repellent-keeps-wild-boars-at-bay/article32033873.ece

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