Eric Opoku Invasive army worm: compensate affected farmers - Minority

Speaking on Friday, Eric Opoku said the morale of the farmers is down following the destruction of large maize farms by the army worms.

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The government must compensate affected farmers of the army worm invasion that have attacked maize farms and other crops across the country, the minority spokesman on Agriculture has said.

Speaking on Friday, Eric Opoku said the morale of the farmers is down following the destruction of large maize farms by the army worms.

"The morale of these farmers is down and the way to bring it up is to motivate them and encourage them. This is an unforeseen situation and they must be bailed out of this challenge," he told Accra-based Citi FM.

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The Akufo-Addo administration last month released GH¢15m to fight the army worm invasion on several farms across the country.

The amount was used to buy pesticides as well as the provision of logistics for a task force step up by the ministry for the combat exercise.

But according to Eric Opoku, the losses the farmers have incurred have not been factored in the amount released.

He said part of the GHC15 million should be used to compensate the farmers whose farms were affected.

“We are missing out on an important aspect… how do we deal with the losses of the affected farmers? They have invested resources. Some went to the banks to borrow and invest these monies in their farming activities,” he said.

He added: “we have to commit part of these resources to compensate for the losses of the affected farmers to serve as a motivation so that next year, these same people will be encouraged to go into farming activities.”

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The “fall army worm” is said to have so far invaded farms in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, and Eastern regions.

It has also destroyed over 500 acres of maize farms in 13 districts the Ashanti region.

The pests attack leaves of crops, flowers and even the stalk.

They feed on several crops including -staple food source - maize, cotton, soya bean, potato and the cash crop - cocoa.

The attack comes at a time that government has launched a GHC560m Planting for Food and Jobs Program.