Assam: Farmers benefiting from lemon fence pilot project
Homestead areas around a few non-descript thatch-roofed farmhouses in Soraguri Chapori located on the bank of the Brahmaputra at Dikhowmukh area in Sivasagar district in Assam are standing examples of how affordable bio-fences in a human-elephant conflict (HEC) hotspots can help farmers to supplement their incomes.
As one travels from Sivasagar town in Upper Assam to the historic Ajan Pir Dargah in Dikhowmukh area, those farmhouses surrounded by tall and thick lemon fences look discernible from a distance from the road, reports East Mojo.
As one comes closer to these farmhouses, they disappear from the eyesight behind the thick and tall lemon fences that fortify those and one will unfailingly notice hundreds of lemon fruits dangling from these bushes while some ripe-yellow ones lying on the ground.
“These lemon fences not only protect us and our farmstead from wild elephants that often move through our areas deviating from the river course, their usual route, on searches of fodder, but also provide us a substantial income per month. We thank Aaranyak for undertaking the pilot project of lemon fences in your farmland,” Nitul Das, who owns a farmstead in the area, told East Mojo.
He said life had been nightmarish in the area because of frequent raids by wild elephants which used to devour and destroy their vegetable cultivations till three years back.
Nitul Das said besides providing a shield against wild elephants, the lemon fences now provide an income of around Rs 8,000 per month to his family. Usually, he sells 100 lemons at the rate of Rs 800.