Agric Ministry imports new pesticides to fight Fall Armyworms

Ministry of Agriculture said only one out of the five pesticides it has imported works at tackling the army worm infestation. Over 120,000 hectors of farms have so far been destroyed by the

So far only 3,000 litters of the insecticide have been imported with majority of them going to the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.

Acting national director plat protection and regulatory services of the ministry of agriculture, Ebenezer Aboagye in an  interview the ministry is importing 3,000 more of neemazal, the insecticide which has proved efficacious.

Neemazal is developed from nim tree, though Ghana has several nim trees it will be impossible for the country to produce enough to solve the current army worm phenomenon.

At the rate of spread the country will need emergency supply from India to curb the situation. So far the Ministry of Agriculture has provided 3000 litters Neemazel an organic pesticide from India invented by German scientists and produced by India since the country has nim trees in abundance.

At the cost of 80-90 Ghana cedis per litter, the product is applied with a measurable quantity of 500 millimeters per every hector on the affected farm for a duration of two to three weeks.

The mode of application is done twice in six weeks to disrupt the behavioral pattern of insect eggs laying, destroying the larvae and also killing the fully grown insect.

Benjamin Mex Yankah, Chief Executive Officer of Jeloise Limited, outlined the benefits of the farm pest rescue Neemazal, he said, an effective chemical composition of this product which contains 10,000 ppm azadirachtin ensuring reliable efficacy, and prevention of phytotoxicity to crops with the aid of Neemazals oil|-free property leading to quick degradation.

Mr. Yankah further stated that, Neemazal as an organic pesticide defeats these soldiers of the farm due to its organic nature to enable farms maintain a fertility and to help in quantum yield of farm produce and have an all year round farming, he stated.

He added that since the company is not in Ghana, they are putting up measures to set up the Neemazol pesticides producing factory in Ghana but the concentrates will be coming from India since the country does not have enough nim trees to speed up production.

The devastation caused by fall army worms has affected 18,219.07 hectares of maize farms so far. Nine regions have been affected with farmers losing hundreds of thousands of Ghana Cedis of investment. Most of the affected farmers have abandoned their farms as there is nothing left to be salvaged.

The pests were detected last year and has since rapidly spread, wreaking havoc on crops.

The green-striped caterpillar larvae of moths are very destructive, because they eat the reproductive parts of the plant and leaves.

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