Agriculture Minister instructs to implement a program within 2 months to minimize crop damage by wildlife

Agriculture Minister instructs to implement a program within 2 months to minimize crop damage by wildlife

Wed, Aug 10, 2022, 12:23 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 10, Colombo: The Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute (HARTI) emphasizes that crop damage has increased to 30-40 percent in the country due to destruction by wild animals.

The destruction of the food crops grown by the farmers by wild animals has become a big problem in meeting the food needs of the country, the HARTI has pointed out.

Therefore, the Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation, Mahinda Amaraweera advised the officials to take steps to implement an appropriate program within two months to prevent crop damage caused by wild animals.

The Minister also mentioned that the Ministries of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation should prepare the program together.

A discussion regarding this was held at the Ministry of Wildlife, Tuesday and besides the officials of the Ministry, external parties were also consulted on the issue.

Animals that seriously damage food crops in Sri Lanka include wild boars, macaques, monkeys, porcupines, peacocks and squirrels. These animals destroy 30-40 percent of the food crops grown by farmers in the country.

Out of that total crop damage, wild elephants are the least destructive only damaging 20 percent of the crops. In addition, 34 percent crop damage is caused by peacocks and several major bird species. But peacock is the main crop-damaging bird.

Wild animals such as monkey, wild boar, peacock and squirrel damage 46 percent of the crops.

Because of this, the farmers have requested the Ministry of Agriculture to prepare a program to protect their farmlands from wild animals.

Therefore, the Minister instructed all officials to prepare a suitable program to prevent the damage by wild animals to the food crops within two months.

The senior wildlife officials pointed out that the population growth of some animal species in the country has increased leading to the destruction of food crops. Therefore, they indicated that attention should be paid to a program to control the animal population.

The Minister advised to consult the animal welfare associations and non-governmental organizations operating in connection with this and get their opinions and suggestions when preparing the program.

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