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No need to compensate for armyworm losses – Deputy Agric Minister

Government is not likely to provide any compensation for losses incurred by farmers as a result of army worm infestation.

According to the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, William Quaitoo, indications are that, farmers are not expected to be overwhelmingly affected by the army worms.

“The loss or the reduction in yield because of the army worm invasion, will not be up to 10 percent,” the Deputy Minister noted to Citi News.

Mr. Quaitoo said most farmers saw the outbreak early and started spraying, unlike last year when they lost all their crops.

“This year [2017], as soon as they [army worms] started coming… they sprayed before even before reporting to us, so there is no fear, unlike last year where they didn’t know how to combat it. This year, I will say that the army worm invasion is under control. We are not going to be affected much.”

“This is not like the avian influenza that came about two years ago, where poultry farmers lost almost all their birds and eggs so in that case, they were to be compensated. In this scenario, we are not expecting that somebody will lose more that 20 percent of produce,” Mr. Quaitoo said.

The extent of government’s aid in combating the army worms is to commit GHc16 million; of which half will be used for the relevant chemicals and the other half being used for extension purposes.

The Minority spokesperson on Agriculture in Parliament, Eric Opoku, however, argued that government needed to compensate farmers who incurred losses as a result of the army worms.

Mr. Opoku also said the GHc 8 million allocation for sensitizing farmers is too much.

Source: citifmonline.com

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