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ICAR-Directorate of Weed Research organized nation-wide 15th “Parthenium Awareness Week”   (16-22 August, 2020 )

Parthenium hysterophorus (Family: Asteraceae), locally called carrot weed, gajar ghas or Congress grass has been considered one of the most problematic alien invasive weeds, which has spread alarmingly in cropped, non-cropped and forest area and invaded about 35 million hectares of land throughout the country including Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep. Earlier, it was not considered a serious weed in hilly areas and north-east region, but now it has invaded large hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir and north-east states. In view of the seriousness and magnitude of the threat posed by this weed, ICAR-Directorate of Weed Research (DWR), Jabalpur has organized a country-wide “Parthenium Awareness Week (PAW)” from 16-22 August, 2020 by involving all AICRP centres of Weed Management, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs), State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), institutes of ICAR, and many State Agricultural Departments, NGOs, municipalities, schools and colleges etc. To enable the organizers, posters and extension materials, especially developed for this occasion, were sent by emails to about 1400 stakeholders with the appeal from the Director-DWR to observe some activities to make public aware about the weed keeping in view the COVID guidelines issued of Govt. of India.

ICAR-DWR, Jabalpur, organized a webinar ‘On mass multiplication of bioagent Zygogramma bicolorata for biological control of Parthenium’ for the benefit of stakeholders besides doing uprooting programme at campus. In Baroda village of Jabalpur under Farmer First programme, Mexican beetles were released at this occasion. At country level, Parthenium Awareness Week was observed by almost all the state and Agricultural Universities and Krish Vigyan Kendra besides many ICAR.

Stakeholders at different institutions in different districts and villages organized many activities like online lectures, webinars, photo exhibitions, farmers’ meetings, students’ rallies, uprooting of Parthenium, releasing and distribution of Parthenium eating beetle, demonstrations on management etc. covering almost all the states of India. Such awareness activities attracted print and electronic media to publish news and telecast on different news channels. Awareness was also made using social media platforms like Youtube, facebook, WhatsApp etc.

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