Karnataka

Farmer offers jackfruit to jumbos to keep estate safe

Sweet deal: Krishne Gowda, a planter at Kirehalli in Sakleshpur taluk, dumping jackfruit grown in his farm along the path of the elephants.  

Distraught over repeated instances of elephants damaging coffee plants in his estate, a planter at Kirehalli in Sakleshpur taluk has been voluntarily offering jackfruit grown in his land to the elephants.

Krishne Gowda dumped two tractor loads of fruits along the path usually taken by elephants roaming around the village in the hope that it would satiate them and they would not enter his farm.

The farmer owns a 30-acre coffee estate in the village. A herd consisting of more than 20 elephants has been moving around the place for the past few days. Neither planters nor workers can freely walk into their estates, as they could encounter elephants any time. “If they enter our estate, they will eat the jackfruits, besides damaging the coffee plants. I thought of giving it to them so that they would not enter the estate once they get their food,” said Mr. Gowda.

On Tuesday, he dumped around 1,000 kg of jackfruit. He, along with his workers, were loading a tractor on Wednesday morning, when a few elephants moved towards the spot, forcing them to stop work and return home. “We would have otherwise dumped a few more truckload of jackfruit. I noticed that the elephants had eaten some of the fruits dropped the previous day,” he told The Hindu.

More than 60 elephants have been roaming in Sakleshpur, Yeslur, and Alur forest ranges. The Forest Department gets reports of crop damage caused by the herds every day. The department sends rapid response teams, formed by involving the local youth, to avoid human-elephant encounters. “We park our vehicles facing towards the road. As elephants can show up any time, we flee in the vehicles,” said Mr. Gowda.

The department sends alerts on the movement of herds through mobile phones. The department has radio-collared a few elephants to track the herds. The rapid response teams also alert local people. Many planters have not been able to take up any work in their estates due to the presence of elephants. The planters have demanded that the State government capture all of them.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 12:52:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/farmer-offers-jackfruit-to-jumbos-to-keep-estate-safe/article31855509.ece

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