Fall armyworms invade farms in Ghana again


Agriculture officials have announced a resurgence of fall armyworms in Ghana.

Though officials at the country’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) have stepped up efforts to deal with the pest, it is urging farmers to monitor their fields and report early detection.

“Surveillance reports indicate pockets of fall armyworm (FAW) on maize planted in lowland and irrigated fields in districts in some parts of Ahafo, Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra and Western regions”, a statement from MoFA read.

These are regions where farmers are already struggling to grow their crops because of severe drought.

The armyworms usually attack fields en mass, consuming crops including maize, wheat, millet and rice, the main sources for food in southern and eastern Africa. 

In the last two years, Ghana is estimated to have lost about US$64 million through the fall armyworm infestation. The pests have since attacked more than 20,000 hectares of farms, nationwide.

Research scientists in the West African nation have prescribed a solution to end the havoc the armyworms have been wreaking on farms.

They are urging the development and use of genetically-modified (GM) maize to stop the destruction the pests are causing. 

Professor Mrs. Marian Quain, Leader of the BRP, said studies had shown that genetically-modified maize with in-built disease-resistant genes had the potential to withstand the harmful effects of the pests.

By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH

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