Jammu and Kashmir Farmers in Doda district have been forced to replace crops like rice, maize and wheat with medicinal plants to protect their fields from monkeys. The loss of forests has forced these monkeys to raid farms in search of food, causing huge losses to farmers. To combat this, agriculture experts from the Ministry of AYUSH have advised farmers to grow herbs instead of traditional crops like rice, wheat and maize, as this will not only protect their crops but also bring more profits.
Cultivating these crops
Many farmers in villages located near forest areas in Doda have adopted this solution and are now growing aromatic plants such as lavender and Tagetes minuta as well as Trillium (Nag-Chatri), Saussurea costus (Kuth), Inula (Mannu), Dandelion ( Handha), wild garlic and balsam apple (ban-kakri) are cultivated as medicinal plants. Officials said these plants have a bitter taste and a strong pungent odor, making them unsuitable for the monkeys. Tauqeer Baghban, a local entrepreneur, said that farmers are now earning better profits due to the increased demand for herbs from domestic companies that manufacture medicinal and personal care products. Baghban said, “AYUSH ministry officials are educating farmers to cultivate suitable crops based on soil, water and wind conditions in their respective areas. They also provide the necessary training and planting material to help them make this farming transition.
difficult to keep rates away
The official said that this change in cultivation of medicinal plants has revived the farmers’ fields and created a new ray of hope among the community. More than 3,000 farmers are already cultivating herbs and aromatic plants in the Chenab region of Jammu and Kashmir, of which 2,500 are located in Bhaderwah alone. “Earlier, we used dogs and even used air guns to scare away the monkeys,” said Naveed Butt, a farmer from Sartingal village. “But it is difficult to keep the monkeys away. and we were about to quit farming. But for the past two years, the shift from traditional maize to cultivation of medicinal plants has kept these monkeys away. Besides, we are expecting good profit.” The population of monkeys has increased since the central government banned their export in 1978 for biomedical research.
Round the clock guarding the crop a challenge
The problem is compounded by the worship and feeding of monkeys by many people. However, the impact of these monkeys is felt most in hilly areas like the Chenab region in Jammu and Kashmir due to the depletion of forest cover. Shabnam Begum (52 years old), a farmer from Kahi village, said, “Taking care of the crop round-the-clock is a challenge, especially when our fields are not close to home.” Turning to medicinal plants gave us a new hope Is. Ayush has given us a new hope.
Latest Business News
Leave a Reply