Fall army worm has been defeated – Minister

Dr Akoto Owusu-Afriyie, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, has insisted that the fall armyworm attack, which ravaged thousands of farms across the country, has been defeated.

He said Ghana had been able to manage the worm invasion better compared to its neighbours in the West African sub-region.

Dr Owusu-Afriyie made the claim when he appeared before the Public Account Committee (PAC) to respond to some violations contained in the 2015 Auditor General’s Report in relation to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

The PAC is currently holding public sittings on the Report of the Auditor General for the Public Accounts of Ghana for the year ended 31st December, 2015.

Dr Owusu-Afriyie insisted that the government deserves commendation and not condemnation for how it has managed the fall armyworm invasion on farms across the nation.

He said the fall armyworm menace was a biological phenomenon and, as such, was not possible to eliminate every single worm from the system.

He said for anybody to assess whether the armyworm had been defeated was to check whether it could have a negative impact on food production.

Dr Owusu-Afriyie expressed optimism that there was the likelihood of having bumper harvest this year adding that if there were any threat of famine the Ministry would be the first to raise the red flag.

He explained that out of a total of one million hectares of farmlands, 124,000 hectares were affected by the fall armyworm attack and 14,000 hectares were completely destroyed.

He said the Ministry had taken steps to support the farmers whose farmlands have been completely destroyed with new seeds, fertiliser and chemicals for the minor crop season.