Parthenium weed poses danger to crops

Parthenium, a newly discovered invasive and dangerous weed, has been posing a serious health problems to human beings and livestock and also causing loss of crops and vegetation in the country, reports The New Nation
The dangerous weed is affecting many countries in Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands causing serious environmental problems.
It is regarded as one of the worst weeds in Australia because of its invasiveness and economic and environmental impact.
Parthenium weed is toxic to cattle, and meat from livestock that eat the weed can be tainted making it harmful for human beings. It also threatens biodiversity in the infested area.
This plant of the herbaceous group has deep tap roots, with erect and much branched stem, that grows up to 2 metres in height in congenial condition. Its leaves are lobed with soft and fine hair. It produces dark-black seeds in star-like white flower. The weed grows in abundance along the roadside and waste lands.
Professor S.M. Rezaul Karim, Department of Agronomy, Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU), Mymensingh and also General Secretary of Weed Science Society of Bangladesh (WSSB) told the New Nation that the districts of Jessore, Faridpur, Magura, Narail, Rajshahi, Natore, Sirajganj, Dhaka, Manikganj and Mymensingh have already been infested with the harmful weed, Parthenium.
The weed has presumably been introduced from India since most of the infestations are noticed in the bordering areas, Prof Karim said adding that a comprehensive survey could reveal a wider prevalence of the dangerous plant.
Professor Steve Adkins, University of Queensland, Australia during his recent visit to Bangladesh explained to WSSB community that the Parthenium weed is a noxious weed causing different agricultural and health problems in countries like Australia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Ethiopia and Uganda.
Severe allergic effects like eczema and skin rashes, dermatitis, hay fever, etc. from parthenium contacts, and asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems from intake of parthenium pollen may occur to human and livestock.
Ulceration in cattle’s mouth, toxicity in stomach and even death of livestock may occur from consumption of the weed. Yield loss of about 40 per cent to upland crops including maize, sorghum, wheat, barley and rice may also occur from infestation of parthenium weed, Professor Steve Adkins said while presenting a paper on the harmful effect of the weed at a number of discussions before the agriculturists community in the city and BAU last week.
The infestation in Bangladesh, he said, is now at primary stage and proper care should be taken to control the weed before it spreads beyond control.
Referring to the management aspect, Professor Rezaul Karim said community awareness should be created against the fast spreading of parthenium and its harmful impact.
He suggested some precautionary measures like washing with waters the body of domestic animals and the vehicles passing through parthenium infested areas.
Cares should be taken during purchasing seed, hay and other fodders so that no weed or weed seeds are embodied in it. Biological control may be possible using leaf eating beetle, seed-feeding weevil and disease- causing fungi.
Growing of competitive legume such as butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea) or grasses such as Bisset bluegrass (Bothrichloa insculpta), Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) can be grown in the heavily infested area to reduce the invasion of the harmful Parthenium, said Professor Karim.

Image Courtesy: noxiousweeds.org.au

Related News

Non-stop river pollution threatens water security

World Environment Day Non-stop river pollution threatens water security Laws, rules, HC directives go in vain Rashad Ahamad No pragmatic step is yet to be taken to protect the four rivers surrounding Dhaka even after declaring them ecologically critical 13 years ago. In September 2009, the Department of Environment declared the four rivers Ecologically Critical ... Read more

Air pollution takes 3 years off life in Bangladesh

Impact on life expectancy in Bangladesh worse than in India, Pakistan, Bhutan Mohammad Al-Masum Molla Air pollution cuts the average life expectancy of a person in Bangladesh by almost three years, said a global report. It is higher than in India, Pakistan, Bhutan, and Afghanistan. Nepal, with air pollution-linked life expectancy loss of 3.05 years, ... Read more

Rain at the summit of Greenland for the first time on record

Something extraordinary happened recently. On August 14, 2021, it rained at the highest point on the Greenland Ice Sheet for several hours — the first rainfall event in recorded history, and air temperatures remained above freezing for about nine hours. The record-breaking rain is the latest in a string of warning signs about how climate ... Read more

Emissions of CO2 driving rapid oceans ‘acid trip’

The world’s oceans are becoming acidic at an “unprecedented rate” and may be souring more rapidly than at any time in the past 300 million years. In their strongest statement yet on this issue, scientists say acidification could increase by 170% by 2100. They say that some 30% of ocean species are unlikely to survive ... Read more

Warming trees limit warming – a little

Warmer temperature prompts trees to release aerosols which in turn stimulate cloud formation. And that can help to cool the temperature, at least modestly. Trees may provide the Earth with a little shade from global warming – indirectly. European and Canadian researchers report that they have found what engineers like to call a negative feedback ... Read more

Evaluating services of forest

Biodiversity contributes considerably to economy and environment Dr. M. A. BASHAR In developing countries, the necessity of publicising services of forests is severely lacking. This sector must be given attention with special emphasis. The country like Bangladesh has to be very serious in all respects to understand and exercise the services offered by the forests. We ... Read more

What the outcome yields for Bangladesh?

Doha Climate Conference What the outcome yields for Bangladesh? Md. Mahfujur Rahman Thirty-seven industrialized countries had been accused of releasing Greenhouse gases in Kyoto Protocol under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Signatory members to the UNFCCC have been meeting annually in Conference of the Parties (COP) to assess progress in dealing with ... Read more

Down with the hills!

Probir Kumar Sarker Though Bangladesh is prominently a plain land, its Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Rangamati, Khagrachhari, Bandarban and Sylhet have hilly areas with forests and rich biodiversity. These areas are full of natural resources fulfilling needs of the people and other living species. But at present, the destruction of hills in every area has become ... Read more

A prerequisite for sustainable development

Natural Resource Governance A prerequisite for sustainable development Rukshana Sultana The constitution of Bangladesh — article 143– illustrates that all natural resources on land and underground minerals and other things of value underlying the ocean within the territorial waters, or the ocean over the continental shelf of Bangladesh, are the properties of Bangladesh. In general, ... Read more

Contemplating mitigation measures

Global Warming Contemplating mitigation measures Md. Atikur Rahman All things that make up the environment are interrelated. The way in which people, animals and plants are related to each other and to their surrounding is known as ecology. The ecosystem is a complex web that links animals, plants and every other life form in the ... Read more

Save Savar from further degradation

Probir Kumar Sarker Over the recent years, Savar is experiencing immense pressure of new industrial, commercial and residential establishments. But most of these have already been done or are underway indiscriminately haphazardly, and by violating the environmental laws and ignoring overall public convenience, not to speak of the care for future growth. It has been a ... Read more

Save Sonadia, save Sundarbans

Sourav Mahmud Sonadia Island is one of the biodiversity hotspot of Bangladesh. In 1995, the Government of Bangladesh included a provision for the declaration of Ecologically Critical Area (ECA) in the Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act. Twelve sites are classified as ECAs and guidelines exist to control further damage to these areas. Sonadia is considered ecologically ... Read more

Ramsar Convention: Our obligation

Dr. M.A. Bashar It is learnt from newspapers very recently that in the Sundarbans area three large constructions will take place which are very dangerous and detrimental to normal functioning of the mangrove forest ecosystem. It means that the interactions between biotic and abiotic factors will be seriously hampered in the ecosystems conservation. The projects ... Read more

Legal response to loss and damage

Climate Change Legal response to loss and damage Hafijul Islam Khan The adverse impacts of climate change have continued to devastate the lives and livelihoods of millions of people and inflict large economic losses. According to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there has been a global increase in weather ... Read more

Corals of St.Martin’s at stake

Global Warming and Over-Exploitation Corals of St.Martin’s at stake Dr. Anisuzzaman Khan Honey comb corals around Saint Martin’s island are under stress due to coral bleaching. While the COP 17 — UN climate convention — was being held in Durban of South Africa, a Nature Watch Team (NWT) of Ekattor Television watched that a noticeable ... Read more

Environment: Future farmers hold key

GLOBAL food demand will double by 2050, according to a new projection, and the farming techniques used to meet that unprecedented demand will significantly determine how severe the impact is on the environment,  researchers say. The study researchers warn that meeting the demand for food will clear more land, increase nitrogen use and significantly add ... Read more

Getting a consensus in COP 17

How close the world is? Shammunul Islam The 17th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17) will be held in the city of Durban, South Africa from November 28 to December 9. The world is waiting with hope that this time a fruitful and effective guideline will be made towards mitigating and adapting ... Read more

Pollution of rivers around Dhaka

Increasing threats to life Mohammad Tareq Hasan With a population of over 15 million Dhaka is one of the most congested cities of the world. This rapidly growing city is located on the northern bank of the river Buriganga and surrounded by other rivers, namely, the Turag to the west, the Tongi Khal to the ... Read more

Tiger Conservation: Reality, recognition and rights

Dr. Mohammad Ali Tigers are maverick animals. They are supposed to live long in this world. Instead, they are disappearing rapidly. No doubt celebrating ‘tiger day’ will raise awareness to safeguard this majestic animal; however, we hope the affiliated institutions will continue creating a congenial environment for safety and sustainability of tiger population. Commonly such ... Read more

Flood: Some positive effects

Mohiuddin Zakaria Flood is overflow of huge amount of water on the normally dry land. The EU flood directive defines flood as ‘a temporary covering by water of land not normally covered by water’. In broader sense, flood can be classified in two types as: natural flood and catastrophic flood. Natural flood is the flood ... Read more