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Jordan Valley farmers say wild boars wreaking havoc

By Hana Namrouqa - Jan 30,2017 - Last updated at Jan 30,2017

AMMAN — Jordan Valley farmers urged authorities on Monday to put an end to the long-standing problem of spreading wild boars, claiming that they are laying waste to whole agricultural units.

From citrus trees to field crops, wild boars leave nothing when they attack a farm, according to Jordan Valley Farmers Union President Adnan Khaddam.

“Farmers are losing because of frost, rising costs, taxes and lack of marketing portals. On top of all that, wild boars are constantly attacking our farms in large numbers and destroying them,” Khaddam told The Jordan Times.

The problem with wild boars is that their reproduction rate is high and they spread in border areas, which makes hunting them or controlling their population an almost impossible mission, he added, noting that the farms located near the borders with Israel witness recurring boar attacks.

Farmers owning agricultural units near the border are not allowed to carry weapons or spend the night at their farms for security reasons, according to Khaddam.

“We urge authorities to cooperate with us and to look into the damages we are incurring. We call for allowing farmers to hunt down wild boars and to allow guard their farms at night when most of the attacks happen,” he said.

The boars are concentrated near the Baptism Site north of the Dead Sea along the border with Israel, as well as the northern areas of Shallaleh, Aqraba and by the Wihdeh Dam near Syria.

For decades, wild boars have been a source of concern to farmers, who have complained constantly to the authorities, urging them to take measures to protect their crops.

Ministry of Agriculture Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin acknowledged that there is a problem with the spread of wild boars in the Jordan Valley, but said eradicating the animal is difficult.

Haddadin said wild boars travel between Jordan and Israel, which makes tracking them down a challenge.

“Farmers are urged to fence off their farms and place traps,” the spokesperson told The Jordan Times.

But fencing off a farm that can be 40 dunums is impossible, according to Abu Yehya, a farmer in Northern Shuneh.

“Do you know that you need more than JD11,000 to fence a farm! No ordinary farmer can afford this, not under the current economic conditions,” Abu Yehya, who plants citrus fruits, said.

The farmer said the fence does not even keep the wild boars away, as they dig and make holes until they reach the farm.

 

“The solution is to let us hunt them down ourselves, to let us guard our own farms — our source of income,” the farmer said. 

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