Monkey menace in Parbat: Farmers struggling to protect winter crops

Published On: December 27, 2022 01:10 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

PARBAT, Dec 27: People in the rural areas of Parbat district have been suffering from monkey menace. It is an uphill task for the farmers to save the winter crops during harvest time.

Punakhar Parajuli from Kushma Municipality-9 said that he used to cultivate 18 ropanis of land. It is time the lush green wheat grew in the fields around his house. But, he is now free, no need to be busy with irrigation. He blames the monkey menace for it.

Similarly, some 50 ropanis of land belonging to Bishnuhari Parajuli and Tikaram Tiwari have been left fallow because of the monkey terror.

After harvesting rice, they did not have the zeal to cultivate winter crops. "We failed to save our winter crops from monkey invasion. We suffered much, so we gave up on growing winter crops," Tikaram shared.

Similarly, soon after 40 kg potato seeds sprouted in the field belonging to Ram Prasad Gaudel from Phalebas-4, it was destroyed by the monkeys. Ramu Parajuli from Bihadi Rural Municipality-3 also said that he has stopped planting potatoes for three years because he could not stand the hassles caused by monkeys.

"Once the monkeys get to eat harvest-ready crops, they do not leave the field till the crop is eaten up," he said, adding that they could not do commercial farming of potato because of the prowling simians.

For two years, he has been adopting alternative cultivation- of turmeric, ginger and mustard.

No village is left to be invaded by the prowling simians in the district. The farmers in some places are even staying awake to chase the monkeys away.

Guru Datta Chapagain from Modi-2 said in the beginning, when the dogs barked at them, the monkeys were chased away, but the monkeys pounce upon the dogs now. 

Potatoes are one of the major crops in the district. Banau, Shalija, Lekhphant Kyang, Bhuktangle, and Banskharka villages are some of the pocket areas for potato farming.

Samundra Khatri from Banskharak said, "Now, the monkeys have begun eating the oranges too. The monkeys used to get scared seeing human beings but they attack humans now."

Potato is the main crop in the villages of the upper belts of the district. The farmers from Kushma and Phalebas areas which are good for winter crops said that they could not harvest crops safely.

As early as a decade back, the district exported wheat and wheat seeds. But, wheat is imported from Terai districts now, according to the Agriculture Knowledge Centre, Parbat. 



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