General News of Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Government is set to spend GHS16m to fight the infestation of Fall Army Worm (FAW) in the country to curtail the destruction of more hectares of maize and cowpea.
According to the Agric Minister, Dr. Afriyie Akoto, chemicals would be sent to the affected districts in the Brong Ahafo Region, Ashanti Region and parts of the Western Region by Friday, as cabinet prepares to meet on a budget of GHS16m to combat and minimize the level of infestation in the country.
The Minister speaking at a press conference at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture on Wednesday, May 10 said half of the GHS16m will go into chemical spraying of the worms on farms and the other half would be used to create public awareness.
The Agric Minister as part of strategies to control and manage these infestations on farms launched a task force team to coordinate activities.
The task force has been assigned to coordinate sensitization and awareness of farmers on detection of the FAW to enable them report, surveillance and monitoring, implementation of prevention and control measures against FAW, research for other long-term measures to combat the pest by using biological control, and source for resources for short and long term strategies to combat the menace.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto also advised Ghanaians to report when they see the pests on their farms before it grows larger and destroys their crop because the armyworm only attacks young maize plants.
He also explained that the chemicals would be given to farmers for free and spraying equipment will be given to farmers who do not have the equipment.
Last year, Ghana experienced the incidence of infestation of the Fall Army Worm in all nine regions with the exception of Western Region where approximately 4,052 hectares of maize and cowpea fields were destroyed. Currently, about 1,370 hectares of fields have been destroyed.