Agriculture experts from the Ministry of AYUSH have advised farmers to grow herbs instead of traditional crops like rice, wheat and maize
Farmers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district are cultivating medicinal plants instead of crops like rice, maize and wheat to protect their fields from hungry monkeys. The Ministry of AYUSH has given this advice to the farmers. Agriculture experts from the Ministry of AYUSH have advised farmers to grow herbs instead of traditional crops like rice, wheat and maize, as it not only protects their crops but also gives more profits.
Which plants are cultivated
Many farmers in villages 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 (Hath), cultivating medicinal plants like wild garlic and balsam apple (ban-kakri). Officials said these plants have a bitter taste and a strong pungent odor, which makes them difficult for the monkeys to eat.
Ministry of AYUSH is giving training to farmers
Tauqeer Baghban, a local businessman, said that there is a lot of demand for such farming in the market. He said, “Ayush ministry officials are training farmers to cultivate crops based on soil, water and wind conditions in their respective areas.
This change has brought a lot of improvement in the lives of the farmers. Due to this the hope of the farmers has increased. Officials said over 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.
Naveed Butt, a farmer from Sartingal village, said, “Earlier we kept dogs to scare the monkeys so that the monkeys would run away. Air guns were also used. But keeping the monkeys away was difficult. The farmers were about to give up farming.