The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) is claiming victory in the ongoing fight against the invasion of Fall Armyworms in the country.
According to MOFA, their officials who visited some areas in the northern part of the country found evidence offarms which were hitherto attacked by the pests recovering at a very high rate.
MOFA claims in most parts of the Upper East Region where the Youth In Agriculture Program (YIAP) Division of the ministry is undertaking cultivation of huge acres of maize under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) campaign, the farms look fresh and greeny with farmers expecting to reap bumper harvests.
The cultivation which is being undertaken in collaboration with WIENCO, a leading agrochemical dealers, employs thousands of youth in the north by supporting them with inputs and financial support under special arrangements.
The National Coordinator of YIAP, Klutse Kudomor, who has been touring the northern parts of the country, is very optimistic that the country will record higher yields of maize compared to last year. Some of the areas already visited by the YIAP team include Gwollu and Tumu in the Sissala East District.
Mr. Klutse indicated that the Ministry has chalked significant success in the fight against the worms and urged Ghanaians not to entertain any fear about alleged possible food shortage.
He says the YIAP has already harvested several tonnes of rice under the PFJ in the southern part of the country with an anticipated bumper harvest in the north at the latter part of the year.
But the claim of huge success in the fight against the Fall Armworms is being disputed.
Member of Parliament for Mion Constituency in the Northern Region, Mohammed Abdul-Aziz who last month summoned the Minister of Agriculture to Parliament to answer questions on the invasion describes the claim as propaganda.
“This is very opposite to what we are gathering on the ground. This is the usual propaganda… The situation is that I still see farms that have been devastated by the Fall Armyworm. The approach to this issue should not be the usual propaganda. This is a national issue,” he said.
Mr. Abdul Aziz insists several farmers in the north which were destroyed by the pests are yet to recover and he is concerned this could negatively impact the country’s food security.
“We need more effective chemicals than what we have now. The farmers say the current chemicals are not good enough and their farms are seeing re-infestation. We should be looking at the possible impact on national food security,” he said.
From an initial figure of 1,400 hectares of affected farmlands as at May this year, more than 112,000 hectares of farm fields had been invaded by the Fall Army worm pests. But government has assured the country’s food security is not under threat.