Monkey-affected farmers in Tanahun launch protest

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By Amar Raj Naharki,Tanahun, May 28: Farmers in Tanahun have started a protest demanding a proper security against terror unleashed by monkeys.

Farmers gathered in the Tanahun district headquarters in Damauli on Saturday citing that they were on the verge of leaving farming for good, unable to bear the mounting farming losses caused by the rogue monkeys.

According to them, monkeys routinely arrive at the farms to feed off or destroy crops, vegetables, and fruits – all on the cusp of ripening.  

“We want to play a role in making Nepal self-sufficient in food. However, monkeys have stood in the way to achieving this dream. Farmers across the country struggle with different wild animals as we do with monkeys. This human-animal conflict should be mitigated,” said Arjun Bahadur Shahi, a farmer from Ward No. 5 of Bhanu Municipality in Tanahun.

The farmers stressed the need of forming a high-level committee comprising experts to come up with a solution to their problem.

“Many of our villagers have left for cities after being unable to tolerate the damage from monkeys,” said Shahi.

Lal Bahadur Pant, a farmer from Ward No. 6 of Vyas Municipality, also argued that many farmers were leaving the profession amid widespread insecurity.

That monkeys making their way to the field is nothing new; in fact, they have done so for many years. What is new, however, is a changed scenario. 

“Earlier, monkeys used to flee once we chased them by shouting. Nowadays, monkeys chase us. Many of our villagers have been injured in attacks by monkeys as well,” said Ram Maya Rana, a local farmer.

Locals informed that monkeys even attacked disabled individuals indoors.

“Authorities are well aware of the monkey menace. 

We have been requesting for support multiple times. Since no concern has been shown to date, we decided to take the matter on the streets,” said Sudarshan Pradhan, chairman of Nature and Environment Conservation Forum, Tanahun.

The farmers have demanded a compensation system for yields damaged by monkeys and an effective policy to mitigate human-animal conflict.

It is estimated that there are around 60,000 monkeys in the Tanahun district alone. 

“Monkeys have also been destroying saplings inside the forest and the habitat of birds, impacting the ecosystem,” said Pradhan.

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