‘Parabraksh’ comes as a hope for farmers facing animal conflict

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Nagpur: At a time when lakhs of farmers are facing huge financial losses due to crop damage and cattle-killing by wild animals in forest landscapes, a Bengaluru-based start-up has come up with ‘Parabraksh’, a solar-powered smart animal deterrent technology, which hopes to ensure an ideal future of harmonious human-wildlife coexistence. ‘Parabraksh’ means protection from wild animals in Kannada. The technology uses strategically-placed LED flashlights to mimic predators’ eyes and create randomized lighting patterns, thereby scaring away animals like tigers, leopards, elephants, deer, wild boars, nilgais, foxes, and others, ‘humanely’. This autonomous device operates at night and charges with solar panels. It can also be used with the help of mobile chargers. Till now over 2,000 units have been supplied to 1,600 farmers in 12 states, most of them in Pench, Tadoba reserves and other districts of Maharashtra. Each unit, costing over ₹10,000, consists of a six-watt solar panel, lithium-ion battery, and 4 LED lights.“The ground impact of this device has been quite phenomenal. The solar-powered lights emit random patterns visible up to 250 metres and deter predators from encroaching into human habitats,” claims Ayan Katidhan, start-up founder and innovator of the device. Deputy director of Satpuda Foundation Mandar Pingle informed that 34 ‘Parabraksh’ units were provided free of cost to 30 farmers in Sillari (Pench) with support from Lions Club of Mulund. “Only three farmers claimed minor compensation for crop losses. Additionally, Satpuda Foundation distributed 400 units across multiple villages in Pench’s buffer area,” said Pingle.“A spot survey in 2023 in Sitarampeth and Junona outside Tadoba, where these units were supplied in 2022, revealed that approximately 89% of farmers expressed a desire to implement ‘Parabraksh’ units for crop protection, although affordability emerged as a recurring concern,” said Pingle.Katidhan says, “If bought in bulk, the unit can even cost ₹7,000 each.”One of the beneficiaries Vijay Meshram, of Junona, said, “One night, two Parabraksh lights were switched off, and a leopard entered the village from that direction and killed a dog.”Prakash Kodwate, a farmer from Sillari (Pench), said, “After installing ‘Parabraksh’, crop depredation by wild boars has reduced.”

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‘Parabraksh’ comes as a hope for farmers facing animal conflict

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