Elephants destroy sugar cane, mango orchards in TN, farmers complain

Farmers in Tamil Nadu’s Dharmapuri are in an agitated mood after wild elephants destroyed sugar cane crops and mango orchards on their farms.

Farmers complained that the elephants had come to the farm land in search of water and had destroyed around 10 acres of sugar cane and mango orchards.

Talking to IANS, Karuppanan, a farmer from Karimangalam in Dharmapuri said: “Wild elephants have run amok in our sugar cane fields and mango orchards and destroyed almost 10 acres. Most of the farmers are facing huge losses as a herd of six to nine elephants had come to the farmland which is quite unexpected as such a thing has not happened in the past.”

He said that the elephants reached the farmland in pursuit of water and the Forest Department must set up more water tanks in the forest so that elephants quench their thirst there itself.

Somanathan, 61, another farmer in the area, said the village elders and general public have submitted a memorandum to the forest officials of Dharmapuri district to prevent the elephant menace.

He said that the losses of sugar cane and mangoes have led many farmers into financial debts as they were expecting to sell the produce in the market.

Forest officials said that special forest forces are constituted to prevent the entry of wild elephants into farmlands. The department has also taken measures to prevent wild elephants from grazing in the village hamlets and fencing will be used in the border to prevent man-animal conflict and destruction of crops in the area.

A senior officer with the Palacode forest range in Dharmapuri told IANS that their Rapid Response Force chased away the elephants on Sunday and “we have now taken preventive measures against elephants entering the village and destroying crops”.

He said that farmers who lost crops due to elephant attacks will be given compensation on providing the details to the district administration.




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