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Dinwiddie, Robert, 2014. Composting of an invasive weed species Parthenium hysterophorus L. : an agroecological perspective in the case of Alamata woreda in Tigray, Ethiopia. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Dept. of People and Society



Parthenium is a serious weed threat in crop fields and grazing lands in Ethiopia (Tamado, 2001). In this study, the perception of farmers on parthenium and composting is explored using both quantitative and qualitative methods. A seed experiment was also carried out in order to assess the effect of composting temperatures on parthenium seeds as this could be a source of spread. Interviews were carried out with farmers in Alamata woreda, south of Tigray with groups and individual farmers. Even though the perceptions differed among farmers, all farmers were aware of parthenium. In the valley where parthenium was abundant
many farmers felt that it was beyond their control, and they were not as active in their weeding. There was also a difference in weeding during seasons, with less weeding done in the dry season. In the highlands where parthenium had recently arrived, farmers were confident about removing the weed and viewed it as their enemy. Composting was more
common in the highlands compared to the lowlands where only model farmers composted.

This was associated with farmers in the lowlands considering their soils to be fertile and the fear of compost associated disease, mitchi. In order for composting to be a possible control method, farmers need to see the benefits of composting. Current agricultural policies promote a top-down knowledge transfer. There is compulsory use of inorganic fertilisers that does not facilitate alternative practices. An agroecological approach is based on the use of several methods aiming to control parthenium in all seasons as well as making it more worthwhile to weed. Other control methods which could be useful for farmers is making silage from parthenium and planting
competitive grass together with leguminous forage. This also has the potential to alleviate the lack of feed for animals in the dry season, which in part has increased due to parthenium. The introduction of biological control agents may alleviate the need for weeding in the wet season.

Main title:Composting of an invasive weed species Parthenium hysterophorus L.
Subtitle:an agroecological perspective in the case of Alamata woreda in Tigray, Ethiopia
Authors:Dinwiddie, Robert
Supervisor:Rämert, Birgitta and Edwards, Sue and Hoffny-Collins, Anna
Examiner:Carlsson, Georg
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2014
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LM005 Agroecology - Master's programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of People and Society
Keywords:agroecology, Parthenium hysterophorus, Tigray, compost, farmers' perception, invasive weeds species
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Agricultural research
Plant ecology
Deposited On:10 Oct 2014 15:16
Metadata Last Modified:21 Oct 2015 14:28

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