For preventing the crop damaged by wild animals, the Himachal Pradesh government is implementing the Mukhya Mantri Khet Sanrakshan Yojana. Under this scheme, 4,669.20 hectares have been protected by installing solar power fences, officials said on Sunday.
About Rs 175.38 crore has been spent under the scheme that has benefitted 5,535 farmers.
As per the government, the crop in several areas has been affected by stray and wild animals.
Under the scheme, the state government is providing subsidies to the agriculturists for setting up solar power fences. A provision of 80 per cent subsidy is for setting up solar power fences at an individual level and 85 per cent subsidy at the community level.
The solar powered fencing helps keep away even the monkeys.
As per the demand, the state has made a provision of 50 per cent subsidy on barbed wires and chain link fencing along with 70 per cent subsidy on composite fencing.
Officials told IANS an increase in beneficiaries of the scheme has been recorded in the past few years. The provision of barbed fencing along with solar fencing has proved beneficial in protecting the crop.
The monkey menace across the state has caused crop losses worth hundreds of crores of rupees in recent years.
With the mass surgical sterilisation of monkeys or rhesus macaque has been undergoing since 2007, the state believes their select killing on the demand of the farmer lobbies will somehow help pacifying their anger over the vast crop depredation.
Himachal Pradesh has declared nine species of wild animals as crop damaging animals.
Besides the monkey, they are the wild boar, blue bull, porcupine, jackal, chittal, sambar, hare and the parrot. All of them are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
Agriculture plays an important role in the economy of the state with 90 per cent people living in the rural areas and 70 per cent directly dependent on farming.