Stem-boring weevils offer hope for better organic farming in Pakistan

PESHAWAR: There is a cool way to fight a pesky weed called parthenium, and it involves tiny bugs called stem-boring weevils. By using these weevils in organic farming, Pakistan can grow more food while taking care of the environment.

Muhammad Bilal Ashraf Khan, a scientist, says, “Organic farming means growing food without using chemicals. It’s becoming popular in Pakistan because it’s good for the environment and can make more money. One way to do it is by using special bugs like stem-boring weevils.”

Parthenium is a troublesome weed in Pakistan, and it is tough to get rid of. But these weevils can help. They lay eggs in parthenium flowers, and when the baby bugs hatch, they eat the weed from the inside, eventually killing it. Using these bugs is great for organic farming. It means no harmful chemicals, which saves money and is better for nature. Plus, organic farming can make more food than regular farming.

In 2019, Pakistan brought in 200 weevils from South Africa to fight parthenium. Now, Pakistan’s National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) and the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) are working together to fight parthenium using these weevils. They released 500 weevils at NARC to help control the weed.

Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali, the head of PARC, said that using chemicals to kill parthenium is not good for organic farming. But these weevils are a fantastic solution. They are friendly to the environment, cost less, and will help keep our food safe in Pakistan.

Aziz Buneri
Aziz Buneri
Author is a senior journalist and working in the field of journalism since 2004. He covers Financial, Social, Political and regional issues for Pakistan today and Profit. He can reached at [email protected]

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