Agric Ministry outlines measures to tackle Fall Army Worm

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Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto,

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in its quest to control pest and parasites on crops, says it will procure 97,000 litters and 14,000kg of insecticide to fight Fall Army Worm infestation this year.

This was disclosed by Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business, last week when he presented the 2021 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament.

He disclosed that 89,060 litres and 11,630kg of strategic stock of insecticide were procured and sprayed on affected farms in 2020, which saved about 652, 867mt of maize valued at GHC786,44,400.00.

According to him, it has been the government’s priority to reduce the Fall Army Worm (FAW) infestation to its barest minimum and has therefore put the appropriate measure in place.

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PFJ

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told Parliament that the successful implementation of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme mitigated the hardships Ghanaians would have gone through during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In 2020, in order to mitigate the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on food production, the ministry enhanced farmers access to production inputs and increased the planned beneficiary target of 1.2 million to 1.4 million,” he said.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu further disclosed that a total of 1,736,510 farmers benefited from subsidised fertilizers and improved seeds under the flagship programme which ensured enough food throughout the year.

With regards to government’s ‘Rearing for Food and Jobs programme’ he said government procured 531,100 improved breeds of small ruminants, pigs and poultry which were distributed to beneficiary farmers.

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He also indicated that a major milestone was achieved in the agriculture sector where the producer price of cocoa for the year 2020/2021 was increased from GHC8,240 per metric tonne to GHC10,560 per metric tonne.

“COCOBOD’s crop review for 2020/2021 year projected a production figure of 896,000 tonnes. By the end of February 2021, cocoa taken-over stood at 771,461.06 tonnes, which puts the country on course to achieve its target,” he said.

Irrigation

The 2021 Budget Statement also shows that the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority has reached various stages of completion of its dams which are meant to provide water for all-year round farming.

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“Various completion stages are Tamne Phases 1&2 – 90% and 50% respectively, Mprumem Phase II – 90%, rehabilitation, modernisation and expansion of existing schemes at Tano – 72%. In 2021, the ministry will complete the construction of Tamne Phases 1&2, Mprumem Phase II and resettle displaced persons in the reservoir area,” he assured.

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