Fall armyworms have invaded over 300 hectares of farmlands in twenty communities in the Garu and Tempane Districts of the Upper East Region. The development which is wrecking havoc on maize farms has also affected rice, groundnuts and sorghum farms as well.
Some affected farmers told Citi News that attempts to get chemicals from the district agricultural office to fight the armyworm invasion have so far proved futile.
They sai if immediate steps are not taken by the district office to solve the problem, they will record low yields this year.
A farmer, Hawa Zakari, who cultivated six hectares of maize had three hectares destroyed by the fall armyworms, but has not been able to acquire chemicals from the district office of the Ministry of Agriculture to spray her farm.
Another farmer, Abudu Issah, from the Gbelinginzuus electoral area in Garu, cultivated 12 hectares of maize, but had seven hectares affected by the fall armyworms.
“I have cultivated six hectares of maize but the fall armyworms have affected four hectares. I have tried to get the chemicals from the MOFA office or the open market but to no avail” Zaratu Halida of Zamballa electoral area in Tempane stated.
The District Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the Tempane district, Denis Asampambila, explained that, although the scale of the destruction is huge, the directorate is running out of chemicals to treat the farms.
“We are recording extensive invasion. About 20 communities have reported cases of fall armyworms invasion in over 300 farms. They are in all the crops even rice, groundnuts but maize farms are the worse affected.”
However, with the chemicals we have now, we hope to arrest the situation this year, as at now we have few chemicals to spray but as time goes on it may not be enough for everybody”.
In the last year or two, several attempts have been made to fight the fall armyworms invasion, but it appears a permanent solution is almost impossible.