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Fall Armyworms Invade Farms in Upper West

The Upper West Region has been hit hard by a massive invasion of fall armyworms weeks after the incidence was reported in other parts the country.

Thousands of hectares of farmland in about 186 communities have been affected so far.

The Nandom district is the worse hit, with 60 communities, followed by the Sissala West district where farmlands in 37 communities have been destroyed by the fall armyworms.

In the Wa municipality, 17 communities were affected, while 14 others have been devastated in Jirapa. In the Sissala East district, 7 communities have been affected.

Wa West has 6 communities affected, and Daffiama-Busie-Issah has 6 communities affected. The Wa East district, Nadowli-Kaleo district, Lawra and Lambusie-Karni districts have also been affected by the invasion.

Reports say there is a looming food security in the region, as a majority of the residents, who are farmers risk losing their food crops due to the situation.

Saidu Issahaku Suleiman, the Upper West Regional Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), who visited some of the affected farms, told Citi News that the situation has reached an alarming stage.

He appealed to the government and philanthropists to come to the aid of the farmers in the region.

“We are in an emergency. It all started in a few farms, but as we speak, several farms are being attacked each day… majority of the farmers took loans from banks and other financial institutions because of our astronomical poverty situation. They are already in fear of bad harvest because of this calamity that has befallen us as a region,” he said.

“We got some chemicals but we don’t have Napsack spraying machines, protective gloves and other logistics to fight the worms”. Mr. Issahaku added.

Abass Karim Nyuo, the coordinator for Agriculture at the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), has described the invasion of the fall armyworms in Ghana as a serious national security issue that must attract the attention of all development partners.

He said “we must all take up the challenge to combat the spread of fall armyworms in this country because it has the potential to plunge us into a major security problem.”

According to him, SADA has commenced a sensitization programme to drum home varied issues about the deadly worm.

The fall armyworm is part of the order of Lepidoptera and is the larval life stage of a fall armyworm moth. It is regarded as a pest and can wreak havoc with crops if left to multiply.

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