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11 February 2017

Fall armyworms invade maize farms at Afari and Obuasi

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The plant protection and regulatory services directorate of the Food and Agriculture Ministry has confirmed the invasion of fall armyworms on some farms in the country. Some maize farmers in the Ashanti region say they are already losing their investments as a result of the pest infestation.

Affected farmers in Obuasi and Afari in the Ashanti region say they are recording huge loss as the application of diverse pesticides fails to control the menace. 38-year old Adam Issah has been in maize farming for the past 20 years.

He finds the crop profitable as his major source of income. But Adam is now losing interest in maize cultivation due to the invasion of the fall armyworms on his 5-acre farm. The pests have destroyed his farm for the third time in a row despite applying different kinds of pesticides to control the destruction. Adam is worried at his inability to control the pests and has called for assistance to fight the pest infestation. “Currently I’ve invested about GHc 10,000 in my maize farm but the pests continue to destroy it.

I have applied every available pesticide on the farm to control the invasion but all my efforts have proved futile”. Adam is confused what to do next due to his inability to be able to control the pests.

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His son, Masawud Adam says the challenge in controlling the disease is draining the family financially and physically.

“The invasion of these fall armyworms on our farm has affected our income and energy. I am beginning to feel discouraged in pursuing maize farming because of the extent of destruction”.

Reacting to the fall armyworms invasion and its threat to food security in the country, the Ashanti Regional plant protection officer Godson Tetteh, said the country risk losing its sustainable food security policy if immediate action is not taken to control the invasion of the pests.

“The fall armyworm is a major threat to food security because it easily spread from one farm to the other if not controlled effectively. The government therefore has to give the right support to the plant protection directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to handle the situation on time”.

He advised farmers to report any unusual pest invasion on their farms to the district agric office and desist from applying multiple pesticides. Scientists have called for an urgent action to halt spread of the fall armyworms which threatens food security in Africa.

Source: http://3news.com

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