The Municipal Agric Director for the Kwahu West Assembly, Mr. Francis Dogbese has stated that, his outfit has worked so hard with maximum support from his city authorities to ensure that there is more than enough food for residents of the municipality during and after the coronavirus pandemic. He has also stated that, even though the pandemic is prevalent, its impact has not in anyway affected their activities.
“Due to the governments flagship Planting for Food and Jobs policy which is in its fourth year, the municipality has in stock, most of the staples available for consumption from what was secured last year, talk of maize, rice, (both local and imported) yam, cocoyam, cassava, gari, dry “kokonte” powder, beans, groundnut, pepper, onion, tomatoes, garden eggs and many others are all available in stock with no indication of shortages”. He said.
According to him, aside the availability of these food stuffs, most of the farmers have already planted their seeds and applied fertilizers because this is the major season and therefore new crops are also being cultivated for future consumption.
The director however indicated that despite afore mentioned successes, one thing that remains their major challenge is the presence of fore army worms which are destroying hectors of maize farms in the municipality.
“One major threat to food security in the municipality is fall army worms which are destroying maize farms but thankfully, our parent ministry, through its plant protection and regulatory services directorate has issued an alert on what we should do and supplied some base chemicals to be distributed to farmers to mitigate the situation as soon as possible”. He added.
Mr. Dogbese further indicated that, a total of 84 hectors of maize fields have so far been affected by the activities of the worms, bringing in total, 125 farmers, out of which 99 are male and 26 females. He however noted that his outfit has supported these farmers with Agro and Adepa chemicals to control the worms, since maize is a major staple, used in every household.
“A critical aspect of managing these fall army worms is the time and rate of applying the chemicals on the maize farms. Because the worms operate at night and at dawn, we have told the farmers to apply the chemicals at these times, when they are actually out of the hall of the maize and active so that they can actually feel the effect of the chemicals”. He said.
The director again stated that, their donors, Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) have sent them a survey which should guide them to be able to inform them on the effect of COVID-19 on the extension works, with which his outfit has tried as much as possible to use ICT means to reach their farmers.
Story by Nana Kwame Andoh, Nkawkaw