Gov’t deserves commendation, not condemnation over fall armyworm fight

General News of Monday, 18 September 2017



Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto56Dr. Akoto Owusu Afriyie, Minister for Food and Agriculture

The Agric Minister, Dr. Akoto Owusu Afriyie says government deserves commendation and not condemnation for how it has managed the fall Armyworms in farms across the country.

According to him, Ghana has managed the invasion better than other countries in the sub-region. He made the comment when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, Monday.

The Minister announced victory in a war against fall armyworms which had destroyed several thousands of hectares of farms across the country.

The worms were said to have infected over 112,000 farmlands, 14,000 farms of which were completely destroyed.

The farmers said the situation posed an existential threat to the livelihood of about 4 million farmers whose farmlands have been infested. Mostly affected were grain farmers, even though some cocoa farmers also complained about the invasion.

The fall armyworms are pests that wreak havoc on crops if left to multiply. These caterpillars mainly attack maize crops and eat everything in an area. Once the food supply is exhausted, the entire “army” will move to the next available food source.

Farmers declaring victory over the worm invasion There were concerns by some farmers that the worms were still causing havoc even though the Agric Ministry had declared victory.

When he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee, Monday, the Builsa South MP, Dr. Clement Apaak challenged the claim that Ghana has won the war against fall armyworm invasion.

But Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Joseph Opoku Gakpo, reported the Agric Minister as saying, his outfit has been able to deal with the issue.

Contrary to claims by critics that the fall armyworm will affect food security in Ghana, the Minister told the MPs there is a bumper harvest as a result of the planting for food policy initiated by the government.

Dr Afriyie Akoto told the MPs, out of a total of one million hectares of farmlands, 124,000 hectares were affected by the invasion and 14,000 hectares were completely destroyed.

He said the Ministry has taken steps to support the farmers whose farmlands have been completely destroyed.

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