The Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Agriculture University (SVBPAU) in Meerut has launched a movement named ‘Parthenium Free National Scheme’ in which it will create awareness among various education institutions across India about the ill-effects of Parthenium weed, which grows freely all across the country.
Dr K.K. Singh, vice chancellor of SVBPAU, said: “This is a big movement for which we wish to rope in students from all over the country to not only create awareness about this evil weed but also educate masses how to destroy it by either manually uprooting or sprinkling sodium chloride solution or glyphosate solution on the flowers.”
Parthenium, also known as ‘killer weed’, is a weed that was first discovered in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland in 1810.
By 1955, its presence was registered in Pune.
At present, its growth is witnessed in most states, including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh.
It grows in fields and on abandoned lands as well.
A senior agricultural scientist at the varsity, Dr R.S. Sengar said: “The weed harms human health as well as agriculture. It suppresses the growth of various crops, besides contaminating harvested crops and also curbs nitrogen fixing in plantations and their flowers. Its pollen contaminates the air leading to various kinds of allergies in humans and cattle.”