The Forest Department is set to plant more fruit bearing plants in forests and all along State and National highways during every season in a move to avoid monkeys from entering fields and damaging crops. These instructions were given by the Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy and Forest Minister A Indrakaran Reddy who held a meeting with officials from agriculture, forest and other departments here on Friday to discuss measures for curbing monkey menace.

During the meeting, the Ministers wanted the officials to extensively grow fruit bearing saplings in the nurseries and make them available for plantations along the highways and in forests. This move of planting fruit bearing saplings on highways and forests in some areas was yielding good results, they said.

In addition to this, the State government is exploring the possibilities of setting up sterilization centres in every district to control monkey menace and avoid crop damage as a means to help the farmers. It was observed that sterilization of monkeys was one of the best options to control the menace. 

To this effect, setting up sterilization centres in every district was discussed, besides exploring the opportunities of establishing the centres under Public Private Partnership mode.

In addition to these measures, the Ministers wanted officials to explore other possibilities of controlling the monkey menace within the laws. It was also decided to study the methods adopted by Himachal Pradesh government to control monkey menace. There are about five to six lakh monkeys in the State and government has already constituted a special committee to suggest measures in addressing the issue.

The Ministers said in the wake of intensified promotion of crop diversification, monkey menace should be controlled and save the farmers from crop loss. The officials were specifically instructed to assess the monkey population and the extent of crop loss suffered by farmers due to monkeys. The government was determined to fix monkey menace issue and rescue farmers, the Ministers said.

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