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Armyworm Invasion Spreads To 30 Districts

The invasion of the fall armyworm on maize farms in the Ashanti Region has now spread into all the 30 administrative districts instead of the 13 initially reported.

The Ashanti Regional Director of Agric, Joseph Faalong, who made this known in an interview in Kumasi, further disclosed that the number of farms attacked has also shot up from 500 to almost 1,000 hectares during the same period.

He noted that some of the farms being cultivated under the government’s flagship agric programme ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ project have also been attacked.

According to him, the pests eat the plants in the early and late hours of the day, thereby necessitating strategic methods in fighting them.

Mr. Faalong noted that even though maize production in the region is under threat, all is not lost as corrective measures have been adopted for implementation by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
He said the Ministry has reached an agreement with agro chemical dealers to supply the affected farmers with the appropriate chemicals to spray their farms to bring the situation under control.
The region is also to take a consignment of chemicals from the Ministry by the weekend for distribution among the affected farmers for the spraying of farms.
To this end, District Spraying Gangs have been formed in all the districts to carry out the exercise.
Mr Faalong said the agro chemicals are being sold to the farmers at a highly subsidised rate.
Government has released GH?15 million for the control and management of Fall Army Worm (FAW) infestation of farms in the country.
Part of the funds would be used to purchase pesticides and other part for provision of logistics for a task force to combat and minimise the level of infestation.
Ghana experienced the infestation of the FAW in all parts of the country, except in the Western Region, in 2016, leading to the destruction of approximately 4,052 hectares of maize and cowpea fields.
The FAW has also destroyed about 1,370 hectares of maize and cowpea fields in April, this year.

Source: thefinderonline.com



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