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White Flies Devastating Vegetable Farmers in Yilo Krobo

Vegetable farmers in the Yilo Krobo Municipality in the eastern region are at their wits end from white flies’ invasion.

The farmers, particularly tomato farmers have expressed worry over the attack of their farms by the insects in recent times which continue to devastate their farms.

Chairman of the Akpamu Central Farmers Association of Ghana, a Farmer-Based Organization, FBO in the Yilo Krobo Municipality, Mr. Francis Kwaku who made the disclose in an interview with Captain Adabugar during the ‘Akuafo Sesen’ segment of the Rite Morning Ride said though the association has reported the situation to extension officers, concrete steps were yet to be taken to salvage the problem.

The major issues involved with the whitefly are its ability to transmit viruses and to become resistant to most pesticides.

Whiteflies feed on tomato leaves and transmit diseases, including tomato yellow leaf curl virus.

Mr. Francis Kwaku who suspected that the problem could be attributed to either the land on which the cultivation is done or bad agronomic practices, said the invasion is posing serious financial challenges to them.

“The challenge is causing us a lot financially as we are forced to persistently use chemicals to control the white flies and the cost of this also keeps increasing,” he lamented.

Experts have prescribed the introduction of papaya plants with wasps into farms before any pest whiteflies are detected where the wasps act as sentries and attack any whiteflies that might become established in the crop.

The FBO chairman also lamented over bad road networks in the farming communities in the municipality.

The situation, he observed was leading to heavy cases of post-harvest losses where farmers were forced to sell their produce cheaply to middle men as there were no means to transport the produce to market centers, robbing them of the opportunity to bargain for good prices.

Source: Prince Paul Amuzu/www.ritefmonline.org/princeamuzu667@gmail.com

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