Drones, new chemicals introduced to fight army worms

BY: Mohammed Fugu

Farmers at Janga in the West Mamprusi municipality of the Northern Region have been educated on the use of drones and other newly introduced chemicals meant to fight Fall Army Worms (FAW) invasions in the area.

The intervention comes at a time when the worms have wreaked havoc to large hectares of maize and rice farms.

The exercise was in sharp response to a recent report by the Daily Graphic that FAW had resurfaced in the Nanumba South District and West Mamprusi municipality, destroying hectares of farms.

RMG Ghana Limited, an agro-input company, which organised the sensitisation exercise following the report, took the farmers through the use of drones, recommended time to spray, and how to apply chemicals that could help fight the worms.

Demonstration

During the demonstration, the farmers were visibly amazed about how fast and easy the drone was used to spray a hectare of maize farm.


The drones sprayed a hectare of farm within 15 minutes, compared to the manual knapsack sprayer which often took about three hours to spray the same size of land.

The farmers were even more amazed to see that in just 10 minutes after spraying with the new chemical, Belt Expert 480SC, the worms and other insects that were seen feasting on the crops died and fell off.

Campaign

The exercise formed part of a nationwide campaign by RMG Ghana Limited, dubbed “Kick Fall Army Worm Out (KFO)”, which is to augment the government’s efforts to fight the worms in the country.

The campaign is expected to take place in six regions, namely Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Brong Ahafo, Ashanti and Western, where maize is the predominant farming crop.

The exercise was earlier scheduled to commence in the Tumu District in the Upper West Region but the Daily Graphic report, which revealed the severity of the worms on farms in some parts of the Northern Region, caused the organisers to revise the schedule.

Rationale

The Business Development Manager of RMG Ghana Limited, Mr Martin Tettey Nartey, who addressed farmers on the demonstration field, said the campaign was started as a result of the frustration some farmers had to go through to acquire the free chemicals supplied by the government.

He said as part of the company’s commitment to support the government to fight the worms, the farmers could form groups and contact RMG Ghana Limited for it to spray their farms for them with the drones at subsidised fees.

“We saw the report in the Daily Graphic last week about how extensive the worms had destroyed farms and we swiftly organised ourselves to come and sensitise the farmers to how they can use the drones and a newly introduced chemical to fight the worms on their farms,” he said.

Real solution

Mr Nartey advised farmers that clearing their crops and re-planting was not the solution to fighting the worms.

The solution was rather in the farmers constantly spraying their crops with effective chemicals to prevent the worms from attacking them.