Ronghang-Hatikhuli, a village in Assam’s Nagaon district has started growing crops for wild elephants. Instead of fighting off the wild elephants, the locals had started cultivating paddy, first for the jumbos and then for themselves under the aegis of Hatibondhu – an NGO in the state.
“Paddy for Elephants” – a brain-child of Pradip Kumar Bhuyan, director of Hati-bondhu and it is being aided by the state’s forest and agriculture departments.
“The villagers are now growing paddy on 200 bighas for the wild elephants” : said an activist of Hati-bondhu.
The villagers are also growing Napier Grass, commonly referred to as elephant grass. The idea is to keep in place enough fodder for the elephants and curb human-elephant conflict. It may be mentioned that herds of elephants often come down the Hatikhuli Reserve Forest and raid the village.