Solar fencing helping farmers in Shingneer village to grow more crops

Ever since the solar fencing was introduced in Shingneer village in Ura, Bumthang, it has brought much relief to farmers against crop depredation by wild animals.

The completion of the third phase of solar fencing in the village is expected to help farmers diversify crops, significantly reduce crop-guarding time and also reduce fallow land.

Ura Gewog Gup Khandu Wangchuk said human wildlife conflict is a serious issue and farmers are discouraged to cultivate crops. “During crop season, farmers face a hard time guarding their field day and night because of which many have stopped winter cultivation,” he said.  “Now with the completion of the third phase of solar fencing the cultivated fields in the village will be protected and the problems will be put to an end.”

He said the use of community-based approaches have inculcated a sense of ownership of the technology and also enabled cost reduction through cost sharing among the community members.

The first phase of solar fencing in the village last year, as per the gup, has shown a constructive outcome in shielding crops from the wild animals.

Reports from few sites reveal that the community mobilization of common village chores, usually a difficult task, was otherwise when it came to electric fencing and crop protection.

Tshering Lhaden with the Agriculture Extension office in Ura said the village has potential for agriculture farming but due to wildlife issues, farmers have not able to reap good production in the past.

Following the installation of the third phase the gewog is planning to revive winter cultivation. She said the Park Range office and the gewog office are installing the solar fencing and the park office has helped the third phase installation.

In the first phase solar fencing was installed around 15 acres of arable land benefiting about 39 households.

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