You are here: HomeNews2010 06 01Article 183236

General News of Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Source: GNA

Research Institutions and experts to curb fruit fly menace - Ahwoi

Accra, June 1, GNA - Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Food and Agriculture, on Tuesday called on research institutions and experts in the horticultural industry to initiate measures to help curb fruit fly menace in the country. He said the insects were major pests of fruit and vegetables which had been spread through Africa by human action due to the weaknesses of surveillance and control system for the movement of fruits and vegetables between African countries. Mr Ahwoi was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of a fourteen member National Fruit Fly Committee and the launch of the National Fruit Fly Action Plan in Accra.

He said as a result of the importance of the fruit fly as a quarantine pest in many countries, European harbours and airports had intercepted several African fruit exports and had destroyed them, causing major economic loss to countries. Mr Ahwoi said that the country needed to regain those markets by implementing integrated measures such as production in pest-free areas, production in screened houses and hot water treatment. The committee would technically review and endorse all fruit fly programmes and projects in Ghana and provide general oversight for fruit fly management, he said. He noted that the committee would promote the development of a comprehensive National Fruit fly strategy for effective management of the fruit flies.

Mr Ahwoi tasked members to coordinate and actively support collaboration and linkages between fruit fly management stakeholders and projects being implemented in Ghana, adding that education and awareness creation on fruit fly was very important. The action plan, he said, would build national capacity for fruit fly management and create awareness among all stakeholders in the horticultural industry. He said it would develop integrated fruit fly management strategies and undertake national inventory of mango, citrus, banana, papaya and some selected vegetables for management purposes. Mr Kwame Afreh-Nuamah of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Ghana, Legon, and the Chairman of the Committee, said it would work collectively till the menace was fully controlled. He however called on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and all stakeholders to provide the necessary support for the committee to be effective. Members are Mrs Milly Kyofa-Boamah, Mr Vesper Suglo, Ms Millicent Cobblah, Dr Haruna Brimah, Dr Peter Kampong, and Dr J.V.K Afum. Others are Mr Benjamin Badii, Mr Kofi Biney, Mr Ransford Attatsi, Mr Cephas Ametefe, Mrs Emilia Monney, and Mr Eric Benstil Quaye.