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General News of Monday, 28 August 2017


Fall armyworm not defeated - Deputy Agric Minister contradicts boss

Deputy Agriculture Minister, William Quaitoo says the dangerous fall armyworms have not been defeated as claimed by his boss.

“Nobody would say it has been defeated. We would say it is under control,” he told Accra-based Starr FM Monday.

Agriculture Minister, Dr Akoto Owusu Afriyie had told lawmakers in July the worms have been defeated.

Answering questions on the floor of the House, the Minister said measures employed by government since the start of the invasion had proven effective. “The fall armyworm has been defeated,” he said. But the deputy Agric Minister said the worms are rather under control. Out of the total of 112,812 hectares affected by the fall army worm, 14,430 hectares were destroyed, the Agric Ministry had said.

The fall armyworms first invaded farms in eleven farming communities in the Brong Ahafo Region in May.

Some 324 farmers had their farms destroyed but the invasion was later recorded across the country.

The worms are hungry caterpillars that eat up crops before they mature. They lay eggs on seedlings and leaves of plants, followed by the destructions when they are hatched.

After four months of the attack, the deputy Agric Minister said any claim for victory will be premature.

Mr Quaitoo said the Ministry is “combat ready to fight” the worms that attack any farm.

“The chemicals are there, [and] the people are there to do the work,” he said