Agricultural research NGO, Centre for No-Till Agriculture, has begun field education of farmers on fall armyworms control in endemic areas in the Ashanti Region.
The Regional Co-ordinating Council is spearheading the initiative after reports of re-emergence of the destructive pests in the Atwima Nwabiagya North District.
Panicking farmers are calling on government to intervene ahead of the planting season, as a Ministry of Agriculture hotline for early reporting is yet to catch up.
Sixty-five year old Dozen Peprah who took to farming on retirement as a tailor in a company in Kumasi, has however had to count his losses following fall armyworm devastation of his farm.
Memories of last year’s invasion and destruction of farms by fall armyworms are still fresh on the minds of farmers.
Some still have little or no idea how the pest looks like and how it can be detected, especially, at an early stage.
Absence of such knowledge has caused several farmers to lose huge sums of money either in purchase of chemical or poor yield.
Dr. Kofi Boa of Centre for No-Till Agriculture gives clues on early detection of the pest.
“In the very early stages you will see some white strips in the leaves and from there you should know the eggs have been laid and that is the best time to spray,” he said.
Dr. Boa advocates mass education of farmers on how to reduce impact of the pest spraying.
Atwima Nwabiagya Municipal Assembly and Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council say they are working with relevant agencies to overcome the challenge.
Deputy Regional Minister, Elizabeth Agyemang reveals various agrochemical companies and researchers are partnering the coordinating council to find a solution.
“Aside the training today, we also tried some chemicals on the pest. It is a combination of Savior and Strike, they pest were coming out after they were sprayed and I am sure it will work”, she added.
It will take about a day to ascertain the potency of the chemical which have been applied to the farms.
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