Ethiopia: Biological control of the ‘famine weed’– Parthenium hysterophorus

Global Plant Protection News

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Large tracts of farmlands and pastures in the Amhara Regional State of Ethiopia are infested by the invasive weed parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus). Parthenium reduces yields of major crops and replaces valuable pasture species, decreasing livestock productivity. Parthenium also makes many people sick, causing both skin and respiratory allergies, and displaces native plant species, damaging the region’s biodiversity.

In order to combat this weed, a project led by Virginia State University and funded by USAID through the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab at Virginia Tech has released two bioagents, the leaf-feeding beetle (Zygogramma bicolorata) and stem-boring weevil (Listronotus setosipennis). On June 20, 2017, thousands of adult Zygogramma and hundreds of Listronotus were released at several parthenium-infested sites around the town of Finote Selam.

 Parthenium at the time of Listronotus release on June 20 2017_

Parthenium at time of Listronotus release, June 20, 2017

 

 Parthenium at 2 the time of Zygogramma release on June 20 2017

 Parthenium at time of Zygogramma release, June 20, 2017

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