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30 July 2017

Agric Minister denies blowing ¢20M on wrong armyworms chemicals – MyJoyOnline.com

Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Food and Agriculture Minister

The Food and Agriculture Minister has denied reports in the media that the Ministry had blown a whopping ¢20 million on chemicals in dealing with the recent Fall armyworms invasion.

In a rejoinder signed by the Secretary to the Minister, Isaah Alhassan said, “the story, which is sourced to the NDC MP for Bongo, Edward Bawa, is not only misleading but also full of propaganda.” 

The statement added that it is a calculated attempt to smear the image and reputation of the Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto. 

“…the amount earmarked by government to fight the invasion of the armyworms is less than the one being quoted by the Minister. The Finance Ministry released an amount of ¢16M out of which ¢15,815m was released to the ministry,” the statement said.

According to the Ministry, the chemicals were approved after exhaustive consultations with sister countries, the CSIR, EPA and the PPRSD under the Ministry before orders were made for their purchase.

The Ministry, therefore, stated emphatically that reports from across the length and breadth of the country indicate massive progress in the fight against the armyworms.

“Plans are also far advanced to support farmers whose farms were devastated by the armyworms,” the Ministry promised. 

Read the statement below:

Re: Minister blows GH 20M on wrong chemicals

The attention of the Office of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has been drawn to a news item under the above caption and wish to react accordingly.

The story, which is sourced to the NDC MP for Bongo, Edward Bawa, is not only misleading but also full of propaganda and a calculated attempt to indignify the image and reputation of the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto.

First of all, we would like to state emphatically that MOFA has not spent ¢20M on wrong chemicals as the story sought to portray.

For the information of the good people of Ghana, the amount earmarked by government to fight the invasion of the armyworms is less than the one being quoted by the Minister.

The Finance Ministry released an amount of ¢16M out of which ¢15,815m was released to the ministry.

Part of this amount was to be used for the procurement of approved chemicals, sensitization and awareness creation, as well as procurement of logistics for the gang spraying team put in place by the National Taskforce and the Committee set up to oversee the fight against the pests.

It will interest everyone to know that these chemicals were approved after exhaustive consultations with sister countries, the CSIR, EPA and the PPRSD under the Ministry before orders were made for their purchase.

MOFA will like to state emphatically that reports from across the length and breadth of the country indicate massive progress in the fight against the armyworms.

It must be pointed out that the progress being in the fight against these ‘alien’ pests cannot be limited to one, two or three districts but must rather be seen from a general perspective. 

MOFA is very hopeful that at the end of the day the country will witness bumper harvests in all the major crops including maize, sorghum, soyabean and rice.

Plans are also far advanced to support farmers whose farms were devastated by the armyworms.

In order to prevent future occurrence, MOFA has signed an agreement with the University of Ghana to train personnel of the Plant Protection and Regulatory Division of MOFA.

This partnership with the academia, we hope, will help bolster the emergency response ability of the ministry in fighting all forms of diseases that affect crops and animals in the country.

Meanwhile, MOFA will like to assure farmers that the National Surveillance and Monitoring Taskforce made up of personnel from NADMO, CSIR, FAO and PPRSD will continue to be on the ground to respond to distress calls of farmers as we deal with pockets of reports of infection.

Signed 

Issah Alhassan

Press Secretary to the Minister

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