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30 July 2017

We didn’t spend GHc20m on wrong chemicals – MoFA

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has refuted claims GHc 20 million was spent procuring wrong chemicals to fight armyworms invading farms in the country.

“The story, which is sourced to the NDC MP for Bongo, Hon. 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,” the ministry has said in a statement.

The Member of Parliament for Bongo, Edward Bawa claimed that the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, spent on wrong pesticides to combat the armyworms ravaging farms and suggested that the failure to procure the right chemicals could explain the spread of the armyworms.

But MoFA has even said the amount earmarked by Government to fight the invasion of the armyworms is less than the amount claimed by Mr. Bawa.

The Finance Ministry released an amount of GHc 16 million of the fight, out of which GH 15,815 million was released to MoFA.

The Ministry also assures that a holistic assessment of the army worm situation will indicate progress in the fight.

A National Taskforce for the control and management of the invasion of armyworms was constituted to distribute free pesticides to farmers in the hardest hit areas.

“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.”

Find below the full statement

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, Hon. 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 GH 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 MP.

The Finance Ministry released an amount of GH 16M out of which GH 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 response to distress calls of farmers as we deal with pockets of reports of infection.

Signed

Issah Alhassan

Press Secretary to the Minister.

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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