Jan 09, Colombo: The Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute, the premier national institute in the field of socio-economic research relating to the agrarian sector in Sri Lanka, has carried out a study to prevent crop damage from wild animals, the Ministry of Agriculture said.
According to the Agriculture Ministry, it has been confirmed that 40% of the annual crop is destroyed by the wild animals.
Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture has focused its attention to the management of wildlife and prevention of crop damage.
The study has revealed that in 2016 in the dry zone in Sri Lanka 10% of the total crops were damaged by the wild animals.
It has been found that 15% of Mung beans, 8% of maize, 9% of peanuts and 9% of cane sugar crops have been destroyed by animals.
A study conducted in 46 Grama Niladhari divisions in Ampara and Monaragala districts in 2017 has found that 22% of maize, 15% of paddy, 23% of peanuts, 41% of sorghum, 39% of cowpea and 41% of mango crops were lost due to wild animals amounted to
The study has proposed to introduce short term and long term measures to minimize the damage caused by wild boar, monkeys, peacocks, squirrels, wild elephants and porcupines.
Though farmers have requested to provide them with air rifles and rifles with ammo for the prevention of damage from animals, the Ministry of Agriculture has taken steps to focus on other alternative measures.
Under this project alternative ideas were proposed such as construction of electric fences, encouraging research for new introductions, using proper farming techniques, planting trees for animal feeding, and planting animal repellent trees to minimize the crop damage by wild animals.
Over the last few years the contribution to the GDP from agricultural crops except fruit crops has been reduced due to the damage caused by the wild animals.