ACCRA, (Xinhua) --
Peasant farmers in Ghana on Monday called on the
government to do more to fight fall army worms which have
infected over 112,000 hectares of farmlands across the country.
Programs Officer of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana,
said the effect of the fall armyworm infestation was getting out
of control, calling on the government to declare a state of
emergency to mobilize resources, both human and material, to
contain the invasion.
“The issue has gone
out of control. So let’s declare a state of emergency,” he told
Joy Fm, a local radio in the capital, adding: “We don’t need to
sit here and pretend that all is well when our farmers are
suffering at the grassroots.”
The fall armyworm
originated in Central and South American and found itself into
West Africa in January, 2016, and finally arrived in Ghana in
April, 2016, at the close of the cropping season.
They have destroyed
several thousands of farms in Ghana.
The pest, which is
the larval form of the fall armyworm moth, has appetite for
consuming more than 100 different species, including maize,
cereals, and leafy vegetables, and resist pesticides if its
larvae develop into advanced stages.
According to the
Agricultural Workers Union, Ghana should expect an acute
shortage of food by the end of the year because of the
government’s lackadaisical attitude towards the containment of
the fall armyworm invasion, despite its claim that the situation
was under control.
The group claims
that over 100,000 hectares of farmlands have been affected, with
farmers making huge losses.
But the government
says it has done enough to control the invasion and is dealing
decisively with the threat due to its destructive nature.
As of last week,
about 14,000 hectares of farms had been totally destroyed,
according to George Oduro, a deputy Minister of Food and
“At the moment, we are managing the situation in such a way that
they cannot spread further. You can’t eradicate the fall
armyworm; all you can do is to manage it,” he said.