The Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak, has said that the fall armyworm continues to ravage farms across the country.
His comments contradict claims by the Agric Minister that the armyworm invasion has been completely defeated.
The army worms invaded several farms in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Volta, Eastern and the Northern regions early this year, destroying over 15,000 hectares of farmlands.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament in July, Agric Minister Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto declared that “Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the nation that the fall armyworm invasion has been defeated totally.”
He added: “The situation which has been created by some people that the army worm is consuming the planting for food and jobs [program], Mr. Speaker is not correct, it is wrong.”
But speaking on the Morning Starr Wednesday, September 13, 2017, the former presidential staffer said the Minister’s declaration is incomprehensible presenting the country with an existential threat.
He said, “As we speak now, the problem continues to exist and the sooner we admit that it is with us…so that we can start looking at whatever remedial actions that can be taken, the better for us as a nation.”
“…This is not because one wants to be a doomsday prophet. I am worried about the livelihood and the survival of my constituents. They have invested their time and resources and their energy in these farms.
“This is their main economic activity and they are seeing their efforts being consumed by these pests day in and day out and I think that as a member of parliament, I have a responsibility to draw attention to the fact that contrary to the claims made by the Minister, which I think have definitely dented his reputation and integrity, the worms [are] alive,” he added.
On his part, the General Secretary of the Ghana Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU), Edward Kaware said the declaration of a complete defeat of the fall armyworm was “palpably false.”
He told the host of Morning Starr that “[when] you go to the farms today, the armyworms are still there, and I think that we have lost the battle. We have lost the battle to defeat the fall armyworm.”
“There is a better way to address the army worms than we have done,” an agronomist, Dr. Robert Kanton further indicated, adding, “You cannot wish away an epidemic with mere talks. I don’t know why the Agric Minister said we have defeated them.”