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FALL ARMY WORM INVASION: UPPER EAST FARMERS UNABLE TO ACCESS CHEMICALS

There is looming crisis in many farms in the Upper East region following the inability of farmers to access chemicals to control the invasion of fall army worms.

The Director of Ministry of Agriculture in Garu and Timpane Districts, Denis Apambabilla tells GHOne News if urgent steps are not taken, the destruction of farms by the fall army worms will be worse than what was recorded last year. The farming season is here but many farmers are not happy. Fall army worms which destroyed hundreds of acres of farms in the Eastern and three Northern Regions in 2017 have started causing havoc again.

Abu Kudar is a farmer in Konkamdan in the Timpane district of the Upper East region. His 6 acre maize farm was badly affected by the fall army worm last year and he recorded low yield. Now he is still struggling to control the pests which have started destroying his farm due to the inability to access chemicals. Another farmer, Musah Yusif is worried about the gradual destruction of his 12 acre maize farm by the fall army worms. He says last year he used washing soda and pepper to control them because he could not get access to the free chemicals distributed by government.

The Ministry of Agriculture in the Garu and Timpane Districts says 350 farms were destroyed by the fall army worms last year and so far 300 farms have been attacked this year.

Director of the ministry of agriculture at the district, Denis Asampabila tells GHOne News the supply of 100 litres of chemicals to the district every week is not enough to cater for the 70,000 farmers in the district.Government last year spent over 10 million cedis on insecticides to combat the fall army worm outbreak across the country. Farmers say a drastic measure to control the fall army worm invasion is needed this year in order not to record low crop yield.

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