The Deputy Director at the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Eric Bentil Quay has said the fall armyworms which destroyed many farmers in Ghana in the last farming season are likely to return this year.
The invasion of the fall armyworms ravaged about 112,812 hectares of farmlands and completely destroyed 14,430 hectares.
The Minister of Agric, Dr Akoto Owusu Afriyie last year promised an end to the invasion with the chemicals imported by government to fight the pests.
“The experience we gained from last year was that the armyworm is very sensitive to the chemicals we applied and we are confident that once we have an adequate application, we will be able to eliminate the danger,” the minister said at the time.
But Mr Quay says the worms are here to stay owing to their complex nature.
“We are anticipating that they have to come stay because like most pests, when they come to an area and the area is conducive for them then there is a strong desire for them to stay there because they will have something to feed on. So we think that since they came in massively in the year, it is likely that there will be a continuation of their presence in the country,” he stated.
He however said the ministry has mounted surveillance to ensure early detection and control of the armyworms.
“We have preventative approach to managing the fall armyworms because when the insects become bigger [they] are so difficult to control,” he added.
Mr Quay said though many farms were attacked by the insects in 2017, more than 90 percent of the farms were recovered as a result of the government’s intervention.