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Planters use pepper, chilly to save coffee

Siddhapura, Feb 24, 2013, DHNS : 23:59 IST
Pepper sacks soaked with chillly powder are hung on the fence around a coffee plantation, to avoid elephants, at 	Palibetta village near Siddhapura. dh photo
They say necessity is the mother of all inventions and it proves true with the coffee planters of Siddhapura.

Even as the elephant menace has increased in Siddhapura limits off late, the coffee planters have resorted to a new idea to keep elephants away from coffee plants.

Taking clue from a workshop conducted by Dr Rudra from Assam who is engaged in researching on elephants, some of the coffee planters have now hung pepper sacks soaked with chilly powder on the fences around the coffee plantations.

Dr Rudra had conducted a workshop for planters at Bhuvanahalli Estate in Karadigodu village near Siddhapura, where he furnished information about the new experiments to coffee growers.

According to the experiment, the pepper sack will be completely soaked in the vehicle oil after which chilly powder will be applied on the sack.

These sacks will emanate strong odour which will remain for over 20 days. The strong smell cast effect on elephants, thus keeping elephants away from plantations.

Addressing the workshop, recently, Dr Rudra said that the experiment is cost-effective and could be made use by any planter.

Farmers in Assam too were badly affected due to elephant menace as Assam shelters large number of elephants.

But, the experiment has caused much relief to farmers, he said. However, he felt that the experiment will be more effective if Bhoojalki chilly available at Assam is used for the purpose as the chilly is more strong than the normal chilly.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Assistant Conservator of Forest Kariappa said that the Department is observing the experiment made by planters in the region and are looking forward to what extent the experiment would be a success.

The Department will make attempts to get chilly from Assam, if the experiment proved useful, he said.

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