Toba Tek Singh        -       Parthenium, a toxic weed, commonly known as “Gajjar Booti”  may emerges as most hazardous for human and animals’ lives than dengue within a decade for which collaborated efforts and awareness are needed to eradicate it, said University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) Vice Chancellor Dr Ashraf.

He was addressing an awareness seminar on parthenium at on Saturday which was arranged by Institute of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development UAF and the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) at UAF sub campus.

The VC added that parthenium is spreading at an alarming rate across the country and it is extremely harmful for human beings, animals and plants.

He said that unfortunately, no systemic research had been conducted so far on the said weed. He said that a plant gives 10,000 seeds that resulted in its massive outbreak. He added that proper quarantine measures were needed to have a check on our import on agriculture but mechanism was far lagging behind. He added that all parts of parthenium at any stage are toxic to humans and animals. Humans in contact with any part of the weed can develop allergy, asthma, eyes and nose diseases. He said parthenium can be managed using a combination of methods including preventive, cultural biological, manual, mechanical and herbicides.

He said that his university’s sub campus will emerge as the future university and from the next academic years, new degree programmes in evening session will also be kicked to provide the quality education to the dwellers to their doorstep. He said that all possible measures were being taken to provide the state of the art facilities to the students. He said that the university was pursuing the case to establish new hostels funding from the government. Pakistan Tehreek Insaf central Vice President Chaudhry Muhammad Ashfaq said that it is likely that sub campus of will emerges as university in the next the financial year. He said that in the coming visit of Chief Minister, he (Chief Minister) will announce up-gradation of the sub campus as full fledge university. He said that the parthenium was more dangerous than snake. UAF Social Sciences Dean Dr Mehmood Randhawa said that parthenium weed was being used in floral bouquets and it is essential that the general public and farming community should be aware of presence of the said silent enemy living amongst them.

He said that gloves should be used while removing the weed. Dr Ijaz Ashraf said that invasive species approximately cost the global economy more than $1.4 trillion. The burden of invasive weeds is heavily borne by the most vulnerable and poorest. He said that that there are 30,000 weeds in the world in which 18,000 are harmful.

He said that parthenium is among the top 10 most dangerous weeds. He said that it is alarming to note that some Hakeems were using the weed to treat some diseases. Dr Qamar Bilal said that the weed is responsible for the outbreak of many diseases in human being.  He said that the milking animals who take the weeds, gives the milk considerably less.

PTI MPA Saeed Ahmad Saeedi said that the district government had started working on converting into a two-way road in front of the university to facilitate the students.  Sub campus Principal Dr Muhammad Yaqub said that the sub campus will start new degree programs from the next year.PTI district general secretary Suhail Ghani, district agriculture authority chairman Mian Imtiaz Ahmad and PTI leader Asjad Bhola also spoke.