Research Paper

Agriculture communities’ perception and willingness to pay for eradicating Xanthium strumarium L: A step towards the progressive decrease of economic and biodiversity loss

Rafi Ullah, Nasrullah Khan, Zoya Baig, Nabila

Published on: 13 June 2022

Page: 341 - 350

DOI: 10.6165/tai.2022.67.341

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2022 vol.67 no.3 pp.341-350

Abstract

Xanthium strumarium L. is native to North America and rapidly spreading in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Pakistan as an alien invasive plant species (AIPs) and possess a severe threat to crops. Hence this study was conducted to assess socioeconomic impacts on agriculture, livestock, and biodiversity along with the mode of invasion, spread, and willingness to pay for its eradication in selected areas of KP Pakistan. Methods: Three divisions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province , i.e. Malakand, Peshawar, and Hazara, were selected for the study. The respondents were divided into two categories, i.e., agricultural and non-agricultural. The respondent's information was collected using a closed-ended questionnaire and semi-structured interview. The data were analyzed and interpreted by tabulation in excel 2010, and variation was tested using online chi-square tests. Results: Most respondents believed that the plant preferred to grow on the roadside and wasteland, affecting crops, especially maize, and infesting the areas for more than 20 years with regular and timely increased infestation. Livestock animals are affected severely in health and products. The chi-square test results indicated that the agricultural communities were affected more than non-agricultural communities. The invasion of the species has affected people's livelihood to the extent that they would spend money on its eradication/control. Biodiversity effects were severe in all the areas, as revealed by decreased species richness index in invaded sites. Conclusions: We concluded that cash crops and communities' economic value suffered severely from the invasion of X. strumarium, and therefore integrated management is needed for its control and eradication.

Keyword: Agriculture, Live-stock, Invasive alien species, Xanthium strumarium, respondents

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