Panaji, Feb 3 (IANS) Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday told the Goa Assembly, that monkeys and peacocks had emerged as a menace for horticulture crops in Goa.

Sawant also said that various steps were being taken to rein in the menace, including compensation for crop damage.

To a question from Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo as to whether monkeys and peacocks were proving to be a menace by devouring horticulture produce, Sawant said: “Yes, the Agriculture Department deals with the compensation for crop damage”.

“Fruit bearing local forest species are being planted in forest areas and other lands available for plantations. Water holes are also maintained inside forest areas for the use of wild animals,” Sawant also said in a written reply tabled during the ongoing budget session of the Assembly.

Some years back peacocks featured on the state Agriculture Ministry’s wish-list of vermin species, along with monkeys and bisons, with farmers claiming the species were damaging crops extensively. While the peacock is the national bird, the bison is the state animal.

Rapid deforestation and urbanization has led to increasing human-wild animal conflict throughout the state.

–IANS

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