KHOTANG, June 19: As the monkeys visit their villages and destroy all their crops, farmers of Diktel Rupakot Majhuwagadhi-7, of Khotang have sleepless nights protecting their crops.
Despite trying their best to scare off the monkeys, farmers have not been able to guard their crops, vegetables and fruits. Monkeys visit in groups and eat all crops in the field, says a local Padam Hingmang. According to the locals, this has badly affected the production.
Locals often join hands to chase away these monkeys but their efforts go in vain as the monkeys return back after a few days. They do not just damage the crops but also snatch away stored grains by entering the houses. Earlier, people used to scare off the monkeys by using bullets but that has been banned in the recent days. This has increased the monkey menace further.
On Tuesday, monkeys destroyed stored grains of Durga Khanal of Kharbari Tole, as well as Bhim Bahadur Budhathoki, Dambar Bahadur Budhathoki, Uttar Budhathoki, Bubiram Budhathoki, Nandaram Dhakal, Lekhnath Dhakal, Sahajit Rai and Dambar Rai of Dumli.
Monkeys have terrorized the locals of Marse and Machhatole of Dorpachiuridanda, Budhathokigaun of Dumli, Dhadabhari, Sirandhunge among others. Despite growing enough crops, locals here are obliged to purchase food from the market as the monkeys eat all their crops. The compulsion of chasing away monkeys has equally affected the studies of children.
Farmers have demanded for proper support from the government for controlling monkeys, reasonable compensation for the damaged crops and have also asked for the permission to use bullets for scaring off the monkeys. Every year, villagers knock the door of the local administration with the hope getting help but still nothing has been done.
In 2009, farmers had formed a committee for the protection of crops and grains. They had also submitted a letter urging the then District Administration Office (DAO) chief, Department of Forest and the Ministry of Land Conservation as well as Community Forest Users Group among others to form a joint action plan for addressing this problem.
Similarly, locals of Diprung Chuichamcha Rural Municipality too are struggling with the same problem. Megh Kumar Khatri, a local informed that monkeys destroyed cardamoms grown in 300 ropani of land in Barlang and some more cardamoms grown in 800 ropani of land in various parts of the village.