It was captured on camera how the lorries and tippers were bringing in these stocks of marrow to be dumped at the Digampathana forest reserve and a herd of around 25 elephants were eagerly awaiting this treat. These elephants were so eager to enjoy their treat and were even seen following these trucks.
However, farmers lamented that the whole sale price per kilo of marrow is only around Rs. 5, but they were unable to sell their stocks even at that price.
Recently, the pumpkin farmers also faced the same predicament, where they ended up feeding the elephants their pumpkin harvest and in some instances distributing it at dansels during the vesak festival. Even at present the price of a kilo of pumpkin is lesser than Rs. 10. Similar to pumpkins and marrow, we also observed several other vegetables being thrown away as food for elephants, due to farmers’ not being able to obtain a fair price for their crops.
Traders said that the majority of the marrow harvest comes to the Dambulla Economic Centre from Anuradhapura, Matale, Polonnaruwa, Kurunegala, Badulla and Monaragala districts.
(Pics : Kanchana Kumara Ariyadasa - Dambulla corespondent)