Porcupines damage Saffron corms in Lethpora, other Pampore areas

Porcupines damage Saffron corms in Lethpora, other Pampore areas

Farmers urge administration to find a solution to the issue

PAMPORE: Porcupine, a rodent species, is giving sleepless nights to Lethpora village and other villages of Pampore in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

The villagers complained that porcupines have been damaging saffron by digging out corms from saffron beds.

Taking to Kashmir Reader, Mudasir Ahmad, a local resident of Lethpora said that the Pampore area is famous for Saffron cultivation and for the last few months, the porcupines (Trunz) have been causing damage to saffron corms during night hours in Lethpora, Gundbal and other areas.

“We can’t bear the damage,” he said and appealed to the authorities including Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Baseer Ul Haq Choudhary, Chief Agriculture Officer Pulwama, Horticulture and Wildlife Department to find a solution to the issue.

The residents said they have been using lights and horns to keep the porcupines away. “This is an expensive method which we can’t afford,” they said.

Another saffron grower, Haji Shafi Magray from Lethpora, said if the wild animal is left unchecked it will damage all saffron in the area within two years. “For the past two years, favourable climate has improved saffron production but porcupines have emerged as a new threat,” he said.

Chief Agriculture Officer Pulwama, Mohammad Iqbal Khan told Kashmir Reader that he was unaware of the issue. “I will talk to the technical person to find a solution,” he said.

Dr Bashir Ahmad Allie who heads the advanced research centre for Saffron and Seed Spices SKUAST-K at Dusso Pampore told Kashmir Reader that the Wildlife Department should trap the porcupines the way they capture other wild animals. “Or they should allow us to control them,” he said.

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