Govt embarks on holistic action to control army worms

Dr Sagre Bambangi

The government is embarking on a holistic programme, including sensitisation, education and monitoring, to control the spread of the fall army worms.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Dr Sagre Bambangi, gave an assurance that the spread of the worms, which had affected 112,812 acres of farms across the country, would not affect food security for next year.

He was responding to a question in Parliament yesterday posed by the MP for Mion, Mr Mohammed Abdul-Aziz, on what the government was doing to tackle the outbreak of fall army worms.

Dr Bambangi said compensation packages were being developed to cater for affected farmers.

On what was being done to re-operationalise the Juapong Milk Factory, he said the government, in 2016, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Messrs Simpaul to run the facility, after it had remained dormant since it was constructed in the regime of former President John Agyekum Kufuor.

On plans to revive the Aveyime Rice Factory, Dr Bambangi said the government, having reviewed a KPMG independent report commissioned by the Agricultural Development Bank, was considering divesting its interest to a private commercial rice growing company that would invest external capital into the company in a public-private partnership.

Minority worried

Earlier, the Minority in Parliament had expressed worry over what it said was the failure of some ministers of state to respond to their calls and answer questions on the floor of the House.

The concern followed the failure of the Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, to show up in the House to answer an urgent question he was billed to respond to.

Dr Akoto was originally scheduled to take the question last Friday but he could not show up on that day.

Again, when the question was moved to last Tuesday, the minister could not show up.

The Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, who led the charge, said the conduct of the ministers amounted to taking Parliament, the representatives of the people, for granted.

He said the ministers were not assisting Parliament to play its oversight responsibility effectively.

The Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, explained that Dr Akoto had travelled outside the country, hence his inability to appear before the House.