Thirty-three communities across 11 districts in the Upper West Region have reported the incidence of the Fall Army Worm (FAW) infestation on their farms.The communities grow cereals along the Black Volta River between May and September annually
In an interview last Monday, the Upper West Regional Director of Agriculture in charge of Crops, Mr Huudu Abu, said the affected communities were located in the Wa Municipality, Sissala-West and East districts.
The rest are the Nadowli-Kaleo, Lawra, Jirapa, Wa West, Wa East, Daffiama/Bussie/Issa, Lambussie and Nandom districts.According to Mr Abu, the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), has taken delivery of 2,240 litres of pesticides for combating the worms on farm areas estimated to cover 7,250 hectares across the region.Dearth of extension officersMr Abu lamented the fact that the region did not have enough extension officers to help the farmers, hence they intended to seek the assistance of private companies such as Zoomlion, Advance Ghana and Agamal Company which had spraying gangs to combat the FAW.
He assured the farmers of the ministry’s support, adding that all the extension agents who were attached to the programme would be provided with the necessary logistics to enhance their duties.
He, therefore, advised farmers to contact the nearest MoFA office for assistance when in need.Flagship agric programmeOn the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative rolled out by the government this year, Mr Abu said a total of 17,063 farmers who had registered to cultivate 42,187 hectares of land would benefit from the package to enhance production in maize, rice, sorghum and soya beans.The Director of Crops in the Upper West Region gave the assurance that fertilisers and high-yielding seeds to boost their potentials had also arrived in readiness for the farming season.
Mr Abu, therefore, urged the farmers to make use of the numerous opportunities available in the quest to reduce poverty, ignorance and disease.He further called on them to endeavour to work hard to justify the huge investment expended in them, as well as repay the loans for others to benefit.