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Farmers tasked to Monitor, detect and control Pests

GNA

Bolgatanga, June 6, GNA - Farmers in the Upper East Region have been charged to regularly monitor fields for early detection and effective control of pests on crops.

The farmers were further charged to start planting early this season and seek expert advice to know the kind of chemicals to use for their crops.

The Upper East Regional Director of Agriculture, Reverend John Manu, charged the farmers while addressing a joint District Agricultural sector stakeholder's forum organised by SADA, and the Northern Sector Agriculture Investment Coordinating Unit to train and prepare farmers on how to monitor, control and prevent their crops from being infested by pests and other crop diseases.

'I encourage farmers to get in touch with the department, go for new technology, take advice and work on it.'

He educated the farmers on signs and symptoms of diseased crops and said farmers should respond to treating their crop as early as possible by informing agricultural extension officers in their communities and follow strictly the kinds of pesticides they were introduced to in order to effectively control infestations from the early stages.

Reverend Manu said he had observed that the rains in the region most often came towards evening and therefore advised the farmers to do early morning spraying on infested crops to allow the potency of the drugs work on the crop. 'When all activities are done in the morning it can work effectively before the rain falls'.

According to the Regional Director, armyworms posed serious danger to crop production because the pests could invade and clear acreages of farmlands within hours and said following their destructive nature, his Ministry was prepared to give farmers the necessary training to apply on their farms to either avoid or control the pests.

Making a presentation on armyworms, Mr Patrick Yensingit, the Plant Protection and Regulatory Service Officer at MOFA said before the armyworm developed, the pests laid their eggs under the leafs of the crops and covered it with a layer of grayish scales.

According to him, the eggs hatched in two to three days and this could be prevented and controlled by spraying at early stage.

Mr Yensingit added that early detection and identification was key to the control of the Armyworm and urged Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other stakeholders to help in the eradication of these pests as they threatened food security in the country.

GNA

By Rebecca Kajelo, GNA

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