Insights into public awareness and perceptions of Parthenium hysterophorus and Zygogramma bicolorata: A case study

Abstract : Invasive plants, such as Parthenium hysterophorus, pose significant threats to agricultural productivity, ecological equilibrium, and human health globally. Despite their detrimental effects, effective management strategies, including biological control methods like use of Zygogramma bicolorata, remain underutilized. This study investigates public awareness and perceptions of P. hysterophorus and Z. bicolorata in Aligarh, India, through a cross-sectional survey conducted across 20 locations. The survey, employing a combination of purposive and random sampling, assessed demographics, awareness, perceptions regarding invasive species and biological control methods. Results indicate high familiarity with P. hysterophorus but limited awareness of Z. bicolorata. Among the 200 participants surveyed, 78% were familiar with Parthenium, while only 24% knew about Zygogramma bicolorata. Furthermore, 43% of participants reported using manual uprooting by hands for Parthenium removal, while 18% utilized mechanical methods, and 39% resorted to chemical means. Only 27% were aware of Parthenium effects on crop yield losses, and 31% were cognizant of its adverse effects on human health. Additionally, the study found that 73% of participants regularly use chemicals in agriculture for various practices, with only 19% opting for chemical use solely when necessary. Participants expressed concerns about P. hysterophorus impacts and demonstrated willingness to explore alternative control methods. 34% of participants expressed interest in learning more about Zygogramma as a biological control measure for Parthenium. However, barriers such as limited access to information and reliance on chemical inputs were identified. The study underscores the importance of targeted education and community engagement to promote sustainable management practices and address invasive species challenges in the region.
Keyword : Parthenium hysterophorus, Zygogramma bicolorata, participants, survey, awareness
Author(s) : Singh, N., Qamar, A.
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Published Issue : 2024 Vol. 19 Number 2

2024 Vol. 19 Number 2