Government GH¢15m released to fight Armyworms

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

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The government has released GH¢15m to fight an army worm invasion on several farms across the country.

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

Members of the task force are: Mr Gyasi, as acting Chief Director, Madam Angela Dannson, Mr Aboagye, Mr Seth Akoto, Mr Kwesi Korboe, Madam Paulina Addy, Dr Kwame Amezah and other five other representatives from government related agencies.

Last week, the Agricultural Ministry, in a memo asked cabinet to declare an 'agricultural state of emergency.'

In the memo to cabinet, the agric minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto said he wants parliament to allow the allocation of funds to buy chemicals for free distribution to farmers to deal with the pests.

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.

The project is expected to improve food production through the supply of improved seedlings and fertiliser at subsidized prices and also provide extension services.

The project is also expected to provide over 700,000 jobs.

There are now fears that the armyworm invasion may put the project at risk.

Meanwhile, the ministry’s Crop Pest and Management Division has sent extension agents to advise farmers on what to do when they suspect an invasion.

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