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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

Parthenium weed in Pakistan

Parthenium weed in Pakistan

Introduction to Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus): an annual herb that aggressively colonises disturbed sites. Native to southern USA, Mexico and Central and South America, it has been accidentally introduced into several countries and has become a serious agricultural and rangeland weed. The weed disrupts the ecology of grasslands, and invades woodlands through aggressive competition and inhibiting growth of other plants. It also poses serious health hazards to livestock, and can cause severe allergenic reactions in humans. It has been named the suicide weed in India, and up to 90% of the farmers in the lowlands of Ethiopia consider this weed to be the most serious weed of croplands and grazing areas. Parthenium is also a secondary host for a range of crop pests.

Click on the links to explore first-hand accounts of the impacts of parthenium on individuals' lives and livelihoods:

Parthenium weed was introduced into Pakistan in the 1980s and is spreading rapidly from the Gujarat district of Punjab Province, where it was first reported.

Sponsored by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), CABI is coordinating a national response to parthenium weed in Pakistan. The first stage in this process was a knowledge sharing workshop held in May 2017. The meeting was attended by the executive director of the Inspectorate General of Forests (Pakistan) and representatives from various quarantine departments, research institutes (including National Agricultural Research Centre and Natural History Museum of Pakistan), universities, private sector producers and the FAO.

A comprehensive national action plan was developed. The plan is described in the Workshop Report.

Activities were categorized as short- (6-month), medium- (6- to 18-month) and long- (>18-month) term, and were focused on research needs (understanding parthenium’s impacts, Integrated Pest Management best practices, detection and prevention-related control options), communication strategy (how to reach urban and rural populations, practitioners, decision makers and private sectors such as the floral industry), and policy development (to identify simple measures, and law amendments to reduce the spread of parthenium, and the processes in place for importing host-specific biocontrol agents, and for the registration of safe and effective chemicals to control parthenium)

This page will share relevant research outputs, original content and report these activities in Pakistan.

Click the link below to learn more about Parthenium in Pakistan and how it is affecting Pakistan's agriculture, human and animal health.

Identification guide to parthenium from: "Guide to the naturalized and invasive plants of Southeast Asia". Arne Witt, CABI. First published 2017

Field guide Parthenium field guide



Plantwise Knowledge Bank: Weed Management Decision Guides and a Farmer Fact Sheet

 Weed management decision guide  Factsheet for farmers

Parthenium weed in maize, Rwanda

Parthenium weed in maize, Kenya

Parthenium weed in maize, Malawi

Parthenium weed in maize and sorghum, Tanzania

Parthenium weed in pasture lands, Uganda

Factsheet for Farmers (Malawi)

Click here for more  content from the Plantwise Knowledge Bank

Action on Invasives

Invasive species impact the livelihoods of the rural poor who are dependent on natural resources for income and food security. CABI is implementing an ambitious programme to address this complex issue. We are working with local, national and regional partners, and across agriculture, environment and other sectors, to create an integrated and... >>