From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Bio-fencing
Mains level : Benefits of Bio-fencing
- To prevent wild animals from entering residential areas and to protect agricultural crops and livestock in areas adjoining to forests, the Uttarakhand government has decided to opt for bio-fencing.
- Bio-fencings are lines of trees or shrubs planted on farm or field boundaries that provide protection against cattle and wildlife, act as windbreaks, enrich the soil, provide bee forage, provide shade, and control dust.
- They are less expensive and more useful than fences made of wood, barbed wire, or stone masonry.
- Various species have been tested to discover their suitability for use as biofencing plants ex. thorny species have been widely used.
A case in Uttarakhand
- According to Uttarakhand officials, lemongrass, agave, rambans, and certain species of chilly and some other plant species have been identified to be grown for fencing.
- Leopards and bears, along with elephants and wild boars are a major threat to human life, livestock and crops.
- Traditional methods like solar-powered wire fencings, walls and pits in the woods prevents the entry of elephants, wild boars, tigers, leopards and others in residential areas.
- Bio-fencing with lemongrass will be done to prevent entry of elephants because elephants do not like the smell of lemongrass.
- Likewise, agave will be grown to deter elephant and wild boars.
- This biotic method is environment-friendly and harvesting of such plants can also be economical for farmers.
- Solar-powered wire fencing is effective only when local villagers maintain them.
- About erection of walls in forest areas, building and repairing them is a costly affair.
- If local farmers agree to be part of the bio-fencing exercise, they can earn by growing lemongrass, a good source of oil.
- Once these plants are in place, the department will string beehives in the next phase to deter elephants.