In a bid to mitigate man-elephant conflict, a group of around 700 villagers in Central Assam’ Nagaon district has donated around 33 acres of community land for the wild jumbos.
The farmers from the Ronghang and Hatikhali area of the district have donated the land for third consecutive land to create separate food zones for wild elephant and subsequently, reduce human-elephant conflicts, India Today reported.
A herd of wild elephant often sneaks into the area in search of food from the adjoining Karbi Anglong district and destroy the paddy fields of the area.
Many wild jumbos and people have lost their lives in human-elephant conflicts in the area.
The villagers have also planted saplings of elephant apple, jackfruit, banana plants, and grass for the wild elephants in 400 bigha of forest land in the hill areas.
The farmers had started the initiative in 2019, said wildlife activist Binod Dulu Bora.
He said that the farmers have planted saplings for various fruits, trees in around 400 bigha of land in the hill areas along Nagaon-Karbi Anglong border.
“Apart from it, we have cultivated Napier grass for elephants,” Bora added.
.He further said that the local villagers and an NGO Hatibondhu (‘friends of elephants), have also cultivated paddy crop in around 200 bigha of lands for wild elephants with the help of the forest department.
“We have taken this initiative by aiming to reduce man-elephant conflict. Growing paddy for elephants was the idea of Pradip Kumar Bhuyan the director of Hatibondhu. A herd of 150-200 elephants can damage 2000 bigha of cropland at night,” Bora said.
After undertaking this noble initiative, the villagers have been able to save their crop.