AMC comes out with automatic repellent to prevent animals from attacking crops

Human-wildlife conflict often makes headlines in any newsroom in the country. People try all means to protect their farms by spending sleepless nights beating tin cans, shouting and patrolling the fields. Yet they lose a good share to the wild. This, however, is likely to change as the Agriculture Machinery Center in Paro has developed an automatic animal repellent for the first time. It is a product designed to keep animals away from the fields.

A sensor is fixed in the mouth of the scarecrow that will pick up any movement. Upon spotting the movement, the scarecrow immediately flashes out light, followed by a loud sound. The owner will instantly receive a call from the SIM card installed in the controller about any suspicious intruder in the field.

The prototype is programmed with the sounds of animals on the top of the food chain such as a tiger or bear to scare away the animals.

“The model we have to build is cost-efficient. We only have to buy a controller and sensor chips and program it here. All in all, it will only cost less than Nu 2,000. If we have to buy the full package from a neighbouring country like India, it will cost Nu 50,000 to 60,000, so we are optimistic that it will benefit our farmers,” said Ugyen Phuntsho, a research manager of AMC.

“Once we are quite clear, the government will not be expanding it. So, that’s why we even enrolled De-Suups under the De-Suup skilling program and FMCL whose mandate is to more focus on commercialising the activities. So, we train the technicians of FMCL and also the youth. Our objective in the future is, in the long run, are they take up all the technologies and do expansion and let them reach the farmers,” said Kinga Norbu, program manager.

The Centre will continue incorporating other features in the prototype to discourage animals to get habituated to it. This is because electric fencing, which was very efficient initially, has given way to wild intruders as the animals have adapted to it.

The Centre will test the efficacy and efficiency of the prototype in the fields soon.

Namgay Wangchuk, Paro

Edited by Sonam Pem

The post AMC comes out with automatic repellent to prevent animals from attacking crops appeared first on BBSCL.

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