Sunyani, May 16, GNA – The government is to release GH¢16.0 million for the procurement of pesticides and other logistics to control and manage the Fall Army Worm (FAW) infestation in the country.
Dr Gyiele Nurah, a Minister of State at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), who made the announcement, said 1,370 hectares of crops have been affected by the FAW infestations in nine regions with the exception of Volta Region.
Dr Nurah, who was addressing a mini-durbar organised by the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) as part of the official handing-over of a Three-Bedroom House to Mr Ibrahim Musah, the 2015 National Best Farmer, said government was doing everything possible to control the situation.
He said government had drawn a road map for the management of the pest as a national taskforce comprising technical experts from relevant national and international organisations have been tasked to manage and control the FAW incidence.
Dr Nurah commended the Board, Management and Staff of ADB for their role leading to the provision of the house and expressed the wish that the ADB and MoFA would continue to collaborate to help in turning around the fortunes of the agricultural sector.
He invited other banks to join the Ministry and ADB to share ideas on how they could work together to change the face of agriculture in the country.
Ghana is an agrarian economy and it is when the agricultural sector develops that incomes would grow to allow for higher levels of savings and investments from the people, Dr Nurah said.
Mr Daniel Asiedu, the Managing Director of the ADB, said since it became the headline sponsor of the National Best Farmer Award, the Bank had been setting aside the Cedi equivalent of US$100,000 every year for the construction of a fully-furnished, three-bedroom house for the ultimate prize winner at his/her preferred location.
He said the Bank took up the challenge and became the main sponsor of the Best Farmers’ Awards since 2001 due to the strategic importance of the national programme.
Mr Asiedu said as a major development partner specialising in financial intermediation in the country, the Bank saw the National Best Farmers’ Awards as paramount and is committed to fully integrate the awards in its corporate social responsibility strategy.
Mr Musah, 50, said farming is a highly lucrative and profitable venture adding that it had enormous potential and opportunities as a job-creation avenue for the teeming unemployed youth.
He urged the youth to develop keen interest in the sector as government introduces meaningful agricultural policies like ‘planting for food and jobs’ to improve the lot of the sector.
By Nana Osei Kyeretwie, GNA