Armyworms: Charge Agric Min. for financial loss
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto must be charged for causing financial loss to the state in relation to the fall armyworm invasion in Ghana, Nana Opambour, President of the Concerned Farmers Association of Ghana, has said.
His comment follows claims by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) that the armyworm invasion has come to stay.
Less than a year after assurances by government and a GHS10 million budgetary allocation to eradicate the worms, MoFA has conceded that the invasion of the pests can only be managed since it is widespread in the West African sub-region.
“Unfortunately, like other invasive pests which have acclimatised in our sub- region, the fall armyworm has come to stay and become a regional problem. There is, therefore, the need to holistically manage so as to reduce its adverse effect on our agriculture,” Director of Plant Protection and Regulatory Services at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Dr Felicia Ansah Amprofi said in an address to the press in Accra on Friday, 13 April 2018.
The pests destroyed over 200,000 hectares of farmlands at its peak last year, and Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto said at the time that the pests had been totally defeated and eradicated.
Commenting on this development on Ghana Yennsom on Accra100.5FM hosted by Chief Jerry Forson on Monday, 16 April, Mr Opambour said: “The Government spent the taxpayers’ money to purchase chemicals to treat the worms but it didn’t work. Today, we are being told that the worms have to come to stay with us.”
“Elsewhere, the Minister would have resigned or be sacked. We want the Agriculture minister charged for causing financial loss to the state.”