Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Farmers’ awareness level on the effect of parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) on agricultural production and its control in Nyando division, Kenya

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Photon Ignitor: ISJN77582463D574523042014

Abstract
Parthenium hysterophorus L. is an Invasive Alien Species (IAS) that poses threat to agricultural production. The aim of this study was to assess the level of awareness of the effect of parthenium weed on agricultural production and ways through which parthenium is controlled in Nyando division. The research was carried by interviewing 120 farm household heads using purposive sampling technique. This study established that majority of the respondents were unaware that parthenium interfered with milk production (95.0 %), livestock health (78.4 %) and crop yield (53.3 %). On the other hand, 63.3 % respondents were aware that parthenium lowered pasture availability. Physical methods (98.3 %) were majorly used to control parthenium as compared to chemical (1.7 %). This study established that, the ill-effects of parthenium weed on agricultural production were not directly associated to parthenium invasion. Therefore this research recommends that awareness creation campaigns on the adverse effects of parthenium weed on agricultural production and its control should be undertaken urgently. Similarly, integrated control methods should be adopted for effective management of parthenium weed.