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Weed alert for farmers, animals

Officials of State Agriculture Management and Extension Training Institute (Sameti), a wing of the state agriculture and sugarcane development department, have embarked on a drive to spread awareness about the harmful effects of carrot grass, a variety of weed found in open fields, railway tracks and residential areas.

The move comes after Jabalpur-based Directorate of Weed Science Research sent letters to all states, apprising them of the harmful effects that carrot grass has on crops, animals and humans.

Considered to be one of the most invasive weeds in the world, carrot grass is about one-and-a-half-feet tall with small white flowers at the end of stalk.

A faculty member of Sameti, Abhishek Tirkey, said that the weed was known to cause skin diseases and respiratory problems.

It also reduced the fertility of soil and inhibit the growth of crops.

“We received the letter from the directorate last month. From August 26, we have been talking to commoners and farmers across the state regarding the harmful effects of the weed and ways to destroy it,” Tirkey said.

As for destroying carrot grass, technical officers of Sameti have suggested a simple solution to farmers.

“The weed should be buried in barren land. Earlier, these were burnt, but it was not safe, as the pollen was carried away by the wind and led to skin problems among local inhabitants. So, we don’t burn them anymore,” he explained.