Rooting out parthenium weed in Pakistan
Parthenium weed is considered one of the worst weeds in the world. It can have devastating effects on the livelihoods of millions of people causing significant harm to human health, the economy and the environment and has invaded nearly 48 countries in Africa, Asia and the South Pacific. In Pakistan, parthenium is spreading rapidly across rural and urban landscapes, affecting local habitats and harming agriculture. CABI’s mass awareness campaign under our Action on Invasives programme aims to raise awareness about this weed and the safe management of it.
Parthenium weed is considered one of the worst weeds in the world. It has invaded nearly 48 countries in Africa, Asia and the South Pacific. It can have devastating effects on the livelihoods of millions of people causing significant harm to human health, the economy and the environment.
In Pakistan, parthenium weed is spreading rapidly across rural and urban landscapes, affecting local habitats and harming agriculture. A particularly worrying trend is the use of the parthenium for its small white flowers in the floral trade as a low cost alternative to Gypsophilia.
CABI’s mass awareness campaign under our Action on Invasives programme in Pakistan aims to raise awareness about this noxious weed and ways to manage it safely. Through farmer training programmes, city campaigns and public service messages carried out initially in Sheikhupura, a district of Punjab province, CABI has informed people about the negative impacts of the weed. Working with local extension services, we have reached over 10,000 farmers in 438 villages, and – through the Weeding Week campaign – reached another 1,400 farmers in 24 villages.
Parthenium not only affects rural farming communities but city dwellers too as the weed can be found in public parks and roadsides. CABI set up stalls in two of Islamabad’s major parks, reaching around 2,000 passers by, who were surprised to learn about its harmful effects.
A key part of these campaigns was CABI’s mini documentary that describes how to recognize Parthenium, its harmful effects on human and animal health, and how to safely manage it. After airing on three national channels at prime time over four weeks across the country, the video reached around 2.2 million people.
“The situation with parthenium weed inPakistan is very serious. It’s challenging for many walks of life and beyond the remit of the agriculture department or extension service. This is now a community pest, and it is possible to manage with the mobilisation of the community.”
Dr Muhammad Anjum Ali, Director General Agriculture (Extension & Adaptive Research), Agriculture Department, Punjab
CABI has developed a number of core skills which will ensure it achieves its strategic goals.
Our work is delivered through dedicated teams and key partners in over 40 countries across the world.
Sustainable Development Goals
Helping small-scale farmers improve their livelihoods by providing knowledge about plant health and access to markets.
Helping agricultural sector to supply sufficient, safe and nutritious food, embedded in a healthy and climate resilient landscape
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, combat land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
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Start: 01/04/2018 End: 31/03/2021