Crops Are Mostly Damaged By Six Wild Animals
Recent survey reveals that six wild animals are the most damaging to the crops cultivated here.
Elephant, Peacock, wild Boar, Monkey, Torque ( රිලවා) and Giant Squirrels are the main among them.
About 40 percent of the annual harvest is destroyed due to crop damage caused by wild animals. Peacocks do the most damage from planting to harvesting.
These facts have been revealed according to a survey conducted by the Hector Kobbekaduwa Agricultural Research and Training Institute regarding crop damage caused by wild animals in Sri Lanka.
This survey was conducted by a survey team headed by Mrs. Renuka Weerakkodi, senior researcher of the HEARTI.
The Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera, had instructed the agency to conduct a survey to find out the extent of crop damage caused by wild animals and the economic impact of that damage.
Accordingly, the economic impact of wild animals on the country’s paddy, fruit and vegetable crops as well as economic crops such as coconut, cocoa and the amount of money lost to the country due to these damages has been included in this survey report.
The Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Rohana Pushpakumara, handed over the survey report on the damage caused to crops by wild animals to the Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera. Chandra Herath, Secretary of the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Resources, Chandana Suriyabandara, Director General of Wildlife and Ms. Renuka Weerakkodi, Senior Researcher who conducted the survey, participated in the event.
The crop damage caused by wild elephants has been recorded at a minimum level compared to the damage caused by other animals. Coconut and paddy cultivation are particularly the most economically affected. Among them, 107 million coconuts are destroyed a annually by Giant Squirrels, Torque and monkeys. It has also been revealed that peacocks cause enormous damage to many crops including paddy.
Commenting on this, the minister of Agriculture mentioned that despite damaging crops, wild elephants have been removed from the list of animals that damage crops. The reason for this is that our country’s wild elephant resources are a special species that attracts local and foreign tourists to the country.
However, the minister said that what is more important is the preparation and carry out the programme to prevent crop damage caused by wild animals and advised the secretaries of the ministries to introduce an appropriate plan before the end of this year by getting the opinions and suggestions of all factions on this matter.