Parthenium hystrophorus in Ethiopia: Distribution, Impact and Management - A Review
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Parthenium, an aggressive invasive weed, is believed to be a native to North and South America. Due to its allelopathic effect and adaptability to different environmental conditions, it is now distributed throughout the world including Ethiopia, where it was reported first in 1988, in the eastern and later in the north-eastern parts of the country. Some scholars believe that Parthenium came to Ethiopia together with the donated grain when the country was hit by famine. Othersopine that entered into the country during the Ethio - Somalia war in 1976/77 through military vehicles from Somalia. Still others also presume it has slipped into Ethiopia from the neighboring countries like Kenya. The weed aggressively invaded several rangelands in the country due to its allelopathic effect, capacity to produce copious amount of seeds and its ability to compete for resources to survive. It can affect the biodiversity, agriculture, human and animal health and the economic activities of society. Although several mitigation methods, mechanical, cultural, chemical, biological and utilization methods are used to control it, there is no single effective method, as each method suffers from limitations. This noxious weed can be managed by public awareness and participatory integrated approaches. There is a need to encourage the research on utilization of this weed for insecticidal properties and try to evaluate the potential on pests of different crops. Therefore, managing this troublesome weed through integrated and eco-friendly approaches is suggested for an effective management.
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