National

Now, an animal repellent to help cultivators near forest area

L N Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on January 23, 2018

Crop cultivation has never been easy for farmers living in the vicinity of forest area. Intrusion of wild animals into cultivable lands is something that they could do nothing about, except for erecting an electric fence, bursting crackers on sighting the animal or engaging a night guard to shoo them away.

“It was still not easy, yet we have been struggling to cope with the menace for ages to eke out a living. Now, with this wild animal repellent “Herboliv” we have managed to keep the intruders away,” says Gandhi, a farmer at Gumtapuram in Sathyamangalam taluk, Erode District.

This farmer has had nightmarish experience safe guarding his mango trees and vegetables from elephant intrusion. His farmland is located about 1000 metres from Sathyamangalam forest area.

While his friends enjoyed visiting his place, envied the scenic luxury, they did not quite understand why Gandhi loathed the evenings until they saw a herd of elephants trample into his field one night, destroying the vegetable crop completely.

But Marimuthu’s farm at Hasanur is much closer to Sathyamangalam forest area, located a mere 20 metres away. Wild boar, elephant and monkeys haunt the area making it almost impossible for this farmer to raise any crop.

Elsewhere at Raj Farms in Hasanur, Rajendran was troubled as his 10 month old sugarcane crop was crushed by elephants that strayed away from the forest located 50 metres away.

All of them maintain that they are not afraid of the animals, rather know how to chase them off. “We have to be on the guard particularly after nightfall as that is when they stray away from the forest in search of food and water,” says Marimuthu.

At Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Anaikatti near Coimbatore, fearing intrusion of deer, peacock and elephants among others, the inmates had left 2-acres of cultivable land for years as such until G V Sudarshan, a Gobichettipalayam-based agripreneur came up with Herboliv - an animal repellent.

“We have now cultivated vegetable crop such as palak, chilly, cabbage, cauliflower, beetroot, brinjal, coriander and carrot. Most of the crops are ready for harvest and the repellent cost has also not been much. We also realised that Herboliv is not toxic but an organic herbal liquid that serves as a plant growth promoter,” said an ashram inmate.

Farmers like Rajendran, Gandhi and few others in the vicinity of forest area also seem a relieved lot for the repellent does not hurt the intruders (as in the case of electric fencing) but the odour tends to chase them away. “It is difficult to get night guards. After spraying Herboliv, I am now able to save on the cost of engaging a night watchman,” Rajendran said.

Sudarshan, while asserting that the formulation is a “wonder spray” points out that when the wind blow is very high or at times of a heavy downpour, it tends to take off/ wash away the odour, reducing the efficacy. “The spray would have to be used at shorter intervals to ensure that the odour lingers and animals do not stray into the farm,” he said

Published on October 31, 2015

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