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Elephant fodder project in Karbi Anglong

By STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, July 12 � In an initiative aimed at reducing the growing man-elephant conflict in and around Karbi Anglong district, a project, �Community Elephant Fodder Plantation,� involving banana plantation in the Karbi foothills was launched by Green Guard, a nature organisation, on the last day of the Ban Mahotsav Week.

The organisation hopes to carry forward the campaign through community participation along the entire man-elephant conflict-affected belt on the Nagaon-Karbi Anglong border during the next phases. In the first phase, stumps of a variety locally known as bhim kol and relished by elephants were collected from Lunsung village. Villagers led by Satyam Naik and the Green Guard team led by Dulu Bora went around Lungsung for voluntary door-to-door collection of banana stumps. Villagers have also started collecting jackfruits seeds for plantation as the fruit is also a favourite of the pachyderms. �More stumps and seeds will be collected from other villages in the area in the coming days. In the second phase, these stumps will be transported by a lorry up to the Karbi foothills and planted in areas left barren by jhum or shifting cultivation,� Raj Phukan of Green Guard said.

The bhim kol is a giant species of banana from Assam and elephants often intrude into human settlements in fringe forest areas to feed on the banana of this variety. The large trunk of the bhim kol is eaten by elephants and the banana regrows from the stump or any part of it that is left behind. The stumps of the bhim kol, once planted, are very hard to get rid of and spread very easily and it is expected that every stump planted will grow into a grove in a few years.

Each of these stumps is expected to contribute to the abundance of elephant fodder in the Karbi foothills and help reduce elephant intrusions in search of fodder. �The enthusiastic involvement of the local communities in these areas witnessing man-elephant conflict gives us a lot of hope for success of this project. These people will also be involved in the plantation phase and Green Guard will bear all the costs of transportation and food out of our own pockets,� Phukan said.

Many of these villagers have themselves been victims of man-elephant conflict and have lost either relatives or property or crops during elephant intrusions. With the initiation of this project, Green Guard hopes to motivate more villages in the entire man-elephant conflict-affected belt along the Nagaon-Karbi Anglong border into joining the community campaign.

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Elephant fodder project in Karbi Anglong

GUWAHATI, July 12 � In an initiative aimed at reducing the growing man-elephant conflict in and around Karbi Anglong district, a project, �Community Elephant Fodder Plantation,� involving banana plantation in the Karbi foothills was launched by Green Guard, a nature organisation, on the last day of the Ban Mahotsav Week.

The organisation hopes to carry forward the campaign through community participation along the entire man-elephant conflict-affected belt on the Nagaon-Karbi Anglong border during the next phases. In the first phase, stumps of a variety locally known as bhim kol and relished by elephants were collected from Lunsung village. Villagers led by Satyam Naik and the Green Guard team led by Dulu Bora went around Lungsung for voluntary door-to-door collection of banana stumps. Villagers have also started collecting jackfruits seeds for plantation as the fruit is also a favourite of the pachyderms. �More stumps and seeds will be collected from other villages in the area in the coming days. In the second phase, these stumps will be transported by a lorry up to the Karbi foothills and planted in areas left barren by jhum or shifting cultivation,� Raj Phukan of Green Guard said.

The bhim kol is a giant species of banana from Assam and elephants often intrude into human settlements in fringe forest areas to feed on the banana of this variety. The large trunk of the bhim kol is eaten by elephants and the banana regrows from the stump or any part of it that is left behind. The stumps of the bhim kol, once planted, are very hard to get rid of and spread very easily and it is expected that every stump planted will grow into a grove in a few years.

Each of these stumps is expected to contribute to the abundance of elephant fodder in the Karbi foothills and help reduce elephant intrusions in search of fodder. �The enthusiastic involvement of the local communities in these areas witnessing man-elephant conflict gives us a lot of hope for success of this project. These people will also be involved in the plantation phase and Green Guard will bear all the costs of transportation and food out of our own pockets,� Phukan said.

Many of these villagers have themselves been victims of man-elephant conflict and have lost either relatives or property or crops during elephant intrusions. With the initiation of this project, Green Guard hopes to motivate more villages in the entire man-elephant conflict-affected belt along the Nagaon-Karbi Anglong border into joining the community campaign.

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