Graphic Online

Graphic Online 

Agric Ministry moves to contain army worm invasion

BY: Kwame Asare Boadu
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has despatched chemicals to parts of the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions to fight fall army worms that have invaded some newly cultivated maize farms.

The farms are located in the Atwima Nwabiagya, Afigya Kwabre and Obuasi districts in the Ashanti Region, and Dormaa and Berekum areas of the Brong Ahafo Region.

The Press Secretary to the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr Issah Alhassan, told the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday that the sector minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, had also directed the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services (PPRS) to prepare a programme of activities — both preventive and curative — for some selected areas.

Abundant chemicals

Mr Alhassan said the issue of chemicals was not a problem. “We have abundant chemicals and our officers are on the ground so there is no cause for alarm,” he gave an assurance.

He added that even though the attack on farms currently was not that serious, “we will not close our eyes to the pockets of invasion that have raised their heads.”
To ensure prompt response to any new invasion of farms, he said the ministry had put out emergency telephone numbers 0202016060 and 0202014040 which farmers could call.


Outbreak

Fall army worms, which experts say are one of the most difficult insect pests to control in maize farms, pose a threat to food security if they are left loose.

Last year, the pests caused some amount of damage to some farms in the country and MoFA had to marshall all the resources at its disposal to contain the situation.

“The Fall Army Worm has been defeated. We are going to make sure that between now and next year we annihilate this army worm from the farms of Ghana,” Dr Akoto said when he addressed parliament in July, 2017.