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06.07.2019 Regional News

A/R: MOFA dispatches 62 Extension Officers to combat army worm

By Antwi boasiako John
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As part of measures to combat Fall Army Worms reported in some districts, the Ashanti Regional Office of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has dispatched well trained Agric Extension Officers to all the 43 Districts to manage the infestations.

The sixty-two Extension Officers from the Plant Protection and Regulatory Service Directorate (PPRSD) under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture were mandated at the end of the one-day orientation workshop to provide farmers in the reported districts in the region with the skills in the management and control of the Fall Army Worms.

Speaking to our reporter Benedict Asante-Yeboah during the workshop last Monday July 1, 2019, in Kumasi, the Regional Agric Officer in Charge of Plant Protection and Regulatory Service Directorate (PPRSD) under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture Mr. Godson Tetteh expressed confidence in the extension personnel in their efforts to curtail the continuous widespread of the disease adding most farmers would get the right information and further adopt the precise methods in the prevention of the disease.

It would be recalled that recently published serious cases of the infestations in the Asante Akyem North, Mampong and Obuasi Districts in the Ashanti Region where several thousands of hectares of lands of maize were devastated by the worms and the move by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture was to intensify the campaign on the management of the disease.

Speaking on behalf of his regional MOFA boss, Mr. Godson Tetteh maintained that the training was worthwhile since the extension officers needed to be equipped with the right information since they were going to be in direct contact with the farmers in the districts who also lacked the required knowledge after their recruitment last April.

Mr. Godson Tetteh touched on the Fall Army Worms saying, “the situation of the Fall Army Worms in the region is under control compared to last year. Year after year, the disease comes under control because since 2017, we have managed the outbreak. The ministry of Food and Agriculture needs to be commended because maize farmers are provided with the right chemicals free of charge so that they may not use the unapproved chemicals and spraying practices. Agric officers have become very conversant with Fall Army Worms since we first recorded the disease so farmers should not panic.”

“Farmers should also endeavour to spray their infested crops early in the morning and in the evening to ensure its effectiveness,” he added.

He encouraged farmers to use improved seeds when planting their crops and also cultivate good sanitation practices on their farms.

He also admonished the farmers to report the cases as soon as there was an outbreak, adding they should desist from the use of unapproved chemicals on the markets and self-approved ones by the farmers themselves.

The Extension Officers who were also trained in safe use of Agrochemicals, seed certification, import and export of plant based commodities and quarantine procedures during the one day orientation workshop assured the ministry to discharge their duties to the benefit of the farmers to help reduce the worms outbreak.

Source: Ghana/ Benedict

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