General News of Thursday, 27 July 2017
The Agriculture Minister says the government has eliminated the fall armyworm which ravaged over 112,000 hectares of farms across the country.
Dr. Akoto Owusu Afriyie explained the various mechanisms put in place since the start of the invasion were effective.
He told parliament Thursday, “the fall army worm has been defeated”.
The fall armyworm is a hungry caterpillar that eats up crops before it grows into a butterfly.They lay their eggs on seedlings and leaves of plants and within 5 to 10 days, they launch a massive onslaught on food crops.
Also, they feed on several crops including -staple food source – maize and cowpea and travel in the cool of the night destroying hectares of lands in their wake.
However, Dr. Akoto said the pest is not causing as much harm as it did when they invaded hectares of farms across the country.
He stated that when the pest became an issue, the Ministry deployed chemicals to various farms and so far the problem is under control.
He added that “the impression that the armyworm is consuming planting for food and jobs is not correct”.
Dr. Akoto revealed that though 112,812 hectares were affected by the fall army worm, only 14,430 hectares were destroyed and that constitutes about 2% of the farmlands in the state.
He indicated that there is an ongoing research into biological control which will be implemented as a long term plan to rid the nation of the pest.
The Minister added that his team will create a strategic stock of chemicals in the regions and districts so control will be issued at any point in time there is another attack.
Again, farmer training he explained, is being intensified when it comes to the detection of the pest to avoid the recurring of the situation.
Dr. Akoto stated “we are going to make sure that between now and next year we annihilate this army worm from the farms of Ghana”.