Crop damage up 30-40%

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Crop damage has increased to 30-40 per cent due to destruction by wild animals, the Hector Kobbekaduwa Agricultural Research and Training Institute said.

The Institute said animals that cause serious damage to food crops include wild boars, monkeys, porcupines, peacocks, and rock squirrels, adding that the destruction of crops has immensely affected meeting the food need in the country.

“As the population of some animal species has increased, it has led to the destruction of food crops,” senior officials of the Department of Wildlife Conservation pointed out during a discussion held with Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera, noting thereby that attention should be paid to control the animal population.

Amaraweera advised officials to take steps to implement an appropriate work plan within two months to prevent crop damage caused by wild animals, adding that the suggestions and opinions of animal welfare associations and non-governmental organisations should also be obtained for such purpose.

(FT)