1. Home
  2. News

KVIC Launches a Project in Assam to Prevent Elephant-Human Conflict

The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has launched a project in Assam to reduce elephant-human conflict through the use of bees, nine months after it was launched in Karnataka.

Shivam Dwivedi
Animal Human Conflict
Picture indicating Human-Elephant Conflicts

The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has launched a project in Assam to reduce elephant-human conflict through the use of bees, nine months after it was launched in Karnataka.

Fences are built under the Project RE-HAB (Reducing Elephant-Human Attacks Using Bees) by placing bee boxes in elephant passageways to prevent elephants from entering human territories.

The boxes are linked by a string so that when elephants try to pass through, a tug or pull causes the bees to swarm the elephant herds and dissuade them from continuing, according to KVIC. It was first made available in Karnataka in March of this year.

On Friday, KVIC chairman V K Saxena launched the project in Mornoi village in Assam's Goalpara district, which is plagued by elephant-human conflicts. According to him, the project will provide a long-term solution to the human-elephant conflicts that are common in Assam.

“Because Project RE-HAB was such a success in Karnataka, it has now been launched in Assam with greater efficiency and technical know-how.” I am optimistic that the project will stop elephant attacks in the coming months and return local villagers to their farms. At the same time, the bee boxes distributed by KVIC to these farmers will increase their beekeeping income,” Saxena said.

The project has been implemented in Assam with the support of the local forest department, KVIC said. “A large part of Assam, surrounded by dense forests, is infested by elephants, with 332 human deaths reported between 2014 and 2019 due to elephant attacks,” the Commission said in a statement.

Cost-Effective Method:

According to the project, it is a cost-effective method of reducing human-wildlife conflicts while causing no harm to the animals.

Elephants are irritated by honey bees, according to scientific evidence. Elephants are also concerned that bee swarms will sting their sensitive inner trunk and eyes. The collective buzz of the bees irritates elephants, forcing them to return," it said.

KVIC said 330 interspersed bee boxes will be placed in Mornoi and Dahikata villages in Assam in a week to ward off elephants.

“These villages have abundant production of paddy, litchi, and jackfruit that attract elephants. High resolution, night-vision cameras have been installed at strategic points to record the impact of bees on elephants and their behavior in these zones,” it said.

Project RE-HAB is a sub-mission of KVIC’s National Honey Mission.

While the honey mission is a programme to increase the bee population, honey production, and beekeepers’ income by setting up apiaries, Project RE-HAB uses bee boxes as a fence to prevent elephant attacks.

Project RE-HAB was launched at 11 locations in Kodagu district of Karnataka on March 15, 2021. In just six months, this project has reduced elephant attacks by over 70 percent, KVIC said. Sharing data, KVIC said that nearly 500 people die every year due to elephant attacks in India.

“From 2015 to 2020, nearly 2,500 people have lost their lives in elephant attacks. On the contrary, nearly one-fifth of this number, i.e. nearly 500 elephants have also died in retaliation by humans in the last five years,” it said.

International No Diet Day 2024 Quiz Take a quiz
Share your comments
FactCheck in Agriculture Project

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters