Express press service
SIDDIPET: That thinking outside the box would help solve problems has been proven once again. In Narayanaraopet Agriculture Cluster in Siddipet District, the idea of setting up solar fences to protect cash crops and vegetables started with one farmer and now there are around 300 farmers benefiting from the idea. Solar fences have solved the problem of permanently destroying boars. Today, farmers in the agricultural group reap huge profits from farms closer to the forest that have been left fallow, unable to keep wild boars off their fields.
The official takes the initiative
After learning that a farmer from Narayanaraopet village was growing vegetables and cash crops using solar fences to repel wild boars, agricultural extension officer T Nagarjuna arranged for farmers from other villages to visit the farm and helped them figure out how they could grow vegetables without worrying about wild boars by installing solar fences.
They were surprised to learn that the farmer, by installing solar fences, was making an incredible profit.
After the visit, Nagarjuna offered to help them if they too were inclined to install solar fences. He said he could talk to the bankers, which he did, when they showed interest. The result is that smiles have returned to the faces of around 300 farmers in the Narayanaraopet agricultural cluster.
The banks initially provided loans for solar fences to about 13 farmers spread over an area of 84 acres. Nagarjuna then helped them reduce the cost of fencing by asking them to switch to wooden poles instead of cement ones to install solar fences. With the farmers repaying the loans, the bankers are also happy and they have offered complementary loans of Rs. 50,000 to partly finance the improvement of the solar fence and use the rest as agricultural inputs.
Ailaiah, a farmer from Ibrahimpur village in Narayanraopet agricultural cluster, said he had grown cash crops in the past but later stopped it due to the threat of monkeys and boars. “Now I grow spinach and other vegetables as suggested by Nagarjuna with solar fences, keeping wild boars away,” he added. Nagarjuna says farmers would earn a lot of money from cash crops rather than paddy, the market for which is uncertain. “Due to the location of the cluster near the forest, invasion by wild animals was a problem, but it has now been resolved,” he said.