Imagine a fence around a farm which grows every day and protects the farmland from stray cattle and wild animals. It makes the crop resilient from pest attacks, helps maintain soil structure and prevents erosion during rains too.
That’s what Jagan Prahlad Bagade of Khaparwadi Budruk village in Akola district of Maharashtra did. He has raised a bio fence—entirely made of wildly grown cactus (locally known as nivdung)—which has now grown up to 12 ft and encircles his 30-acre farm.
Biofencing, also known as live fencing, is a line of trees or shrubs planted on farm or field boundaries. Less expensive and more useful than fences made of wood, barbed wire, or stone masonry, environmentalists consider them to be a biotic, environment-friendly method.
The cactus on the boundaries of Gagade’s fields is Euphorbia lactea, native to India, and an erect shrub of succulent branches with spiny ridges and short spines, which can grow up to 16ft in height.