Jammu: Monkeys have been annually damaging various type of crops covering over 15,000 hectares of land in Jammu division of the state.
In Jammu division, major crops like maize, wheat, rice and vegetable crops covering 15596 hectares of agricultural land falling in more than 250 villages of Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi districts get damaged annually by monkeys, Minister for Agriculture G H Mir told state Legislative Assembly here.
Replying to the call attention notice of rebel BJP member Jagdish Raj Sapolia regarding monkey menace, Mir said the annual financial loss on this account has been worked to the tune of Rs 32.93 crore.
In Kashmir division, there is less threat of monkeys to the agriculture crops, Mir said, adding in hilly areas near forests, there are areas in pockets where there is little threat to agricultural crops from wild animals, including monkeys.
As far as the Horticulture sector is concerned, in Jammu division, monkeys cause substantial loss to the fruit crops like mango, guava, bear, grapes, citres fruit, litchi, sandy pear, peach, plum and apricot in an area of 68,384 hectares of land.
The estimate damage is caused to 9,426 metric tonnes of fruit production at estimated cost of Rs 472 lakh.