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Transforming an obnoxious weed into gold!
Gajar Ghas, also called parthenium hysterophorus, is an obnoxious weed and harmful to all the living beings; it has nearly destroyed all the useful crops and plants in the world. Research has shown that it destroys everything that grows near it.

GAJAR GHAS, also called parthenium hysterophorus, is one of the ten worst weeds in the world. It is harmful to all the living beings; it has nearly destroyed all the useful crops and plants in the world. Research has shown that it destroys everything that grows near it, causes various skin diseases in human beings and if consumed, causes various diseases in cattle too. Earlier, scientists suggested burning down this plant as soon as it is uprooted since its pollen grains, carried by the wind, may settle on the various pores of animals and human beings and cause skin disorders in them.

But here in Khajuria Kala, a village in Ashoknagar district (a newly-created district of Madhya Pradesh) which houses one of the biggest Mandis in Madhya Pradesh, this plant is used for preparing fertilisers, for nearly three years. At Khajuria Kala, farming is undertaken without using any chemical fertilisers; only organic fertilisers are used which have helped in improving the quality of the crop. Abhay Vasudeo Kher, a farmer, thought of using Gajar Ghas as a fertiliser. The idea struck him because the plant proliferated in the vicinity of his farm and it served no purpose anyway. He applied his mind to the task and eventually was able to convert it into organic manure. He was pleased to learn that none before him had attempted to use the deadly plant as manure.

This plant contains various acids like spenolic acid, vanalic acid, p-anisic acid, clorogenic acid, caffeic acid and para hydroxy benzoic acid. Some of these acids are good antioxidants and yet some are used as intermediates in the manufacture of chemical fertilisers. It also contains a large proportion of chlorophyll which can be used in the preparation of fertilisers by decomposing it. It has always been a pleasure for him to revolutionise agricultural practices and devise new ways to promote agriculture in India.

Kher says, "Today our lands are been destroyed by using these chemical fertilisers, but our farmers do not realise that by using the said fertilisers, we are not only harming our land, but also affecting the quality of the produce. But our farmers seem to be unaware of this problem and our government must stress that chemical fertilisers must be used on a limited scale; gradually, they must persuade the farmers to switch over to organic farming. Farmers must be enlightened about all these things, as they are the backbone of the nation."

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