The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), wants government to as a matter of urgency collaborate with agric research institutions in the country to be able to develop effective pesticides that would combat the Fall Army Worm (FAW).
The PFAG said although government had put in its own arrangements to combat the situation, it had proved to be futile and the FAW was fast spreading across many farms in the country, hence the need for the collaboration.
A statement issued and signed by the Programme Coordinator of PFAG, Ms Victoria Adongo, said although government announced that GHC15,857,280 had been released for the procurement of strategic insecticides, and to cater for the training of staff on early detection, sensitization and awareness creation among others, these were far from addressing the issue.
“PFAG is not impressed with the approach adopted by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to combat the situation. Government’s arrangement to combat the situation is commendable, but to ensure that the situation is brought under total control, PFAG suggests that, government should engage the research institutions to recommend the effective pesticides. Such pesticides should be 100 per cent subsidised,” the statement said.
Food production in Ghana is being threatened due to the FAW invasion on food crops, particularly maize.
Currently, the FAW has spread to all the ten regions of Ghana and it is estimated to have affected about 112,812 hectares of farmlands with an estimated 14,430 hectares destroyed completely.
“Even though these figures were unsubstantiated and alarming, the association believes that, the impact on agriculture could be underestimated.”
“PFAG believes that, the public education is not reaching the most rural parts of the country where farmers are experiencing the effect and also pesticides supplied is not effective in killing the worms as some farmers have already resorting to the use of detergents to save their farms,” the statement added.
It is therefore suggesting that all available platforms including traditional and non-traditional media should be employed in the dissemination of information regarding how to deal with the situation by farmers.