According to Naresh Kumar, senior WWF project director, herbivorous animals like deer, wild pigs and blue bulls do not eat aromatic plants and because they do not come into the area where aromatic plants are present, tiger do not follow them. This puts a break on man-animal conflict.
Farmers in the villages of Dhakka, Chant, Khirkia, Bargadia and Dhuria Palia, around the PTR have already started experimenting by planting lemon grass, poppy, palm rose and geranium.
All these are cash crops which yield better results for farmers.
Forest officials are taking help from the National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and the Agricultural Science Centres to create awareness among farmers and provide seeds and other information regarding cultivation of aromatic plants.
An agriculture scientist said that the best thing about aromatic plants is that they give three crops in a year which makes them highly profitable. The harvesting months for these crops are March, June and October.
At present, sugarcane is the major crop in the area and wild pigs and blue bulls come into the fields and destroy the crops. Their presence also invite tigers into the area.
In the past one year, eight farmers have lost their lives in tiger attacks. Recently, one tiger was beaten to death by the local people when the animal attacked a farmer.
( With inputs from IANS )