Fall army worm destroy maize farms in Asutifi North District

Kenyasi (B/A), Fall army worm have destroyed 986 hectares of maize farm in the Asutifi North District of the Brong-Ahafo Region.

Mr James Adu, the Asutifi North District Director of Agriculture, said the Directorate had been able to recover 97 per cent of the affected farms.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a Town Hall Meeting at Kenyasi, Mr Adu advised maize farmers to report suspected cases to the Directorate for immediate action.

The meeting was jointly organised by the District Assembly and the Ministry of Information and offered opportunity to the general public to interact with the Assembly.

Mr Adu said the Government had supplied the Directorate with enough chemicals to fight the worm in the District.

He alerted livestock keepers about the outbreak of swine flu disease in parts of the country and advised them to quickly report suspected cases among their pigs.

Mr Adu said pigs infested by the flu would be killed but added that their owners would be compensated.

Reacting to questions on measures put in place to improve on cocoa production in Brong-Ahafo, Dr Nii Tackie-Otoo, the Regional Manager, Cocoa and Health Division of COCOBOD, said the Government had strengthened the mass cocoa spraying exercise.

He said his outfit was raising11.5 million cocoa seedlings to be supplied to farmers in the Region by the close of the year.

He said a community taskforce would soon be set up to supervise the spraying exercise, adding that the Government would provide recommended chemicals for it.

The Government had also increased allowances paid to people engaged to spray the cocoa farms from GH75.00 to GH200.00 to motivate them, Dr Tackie-Otoo said.

He expressed concern about the swollen shoot diseases attacking about 17 per cent of cocoa trees in the Region, with about 23 per cent of cocoa farms becoming old.

These problems, Dr Tackie-Otoo said, had affected quality of cocoa beans and decreased cocoa production.

That notwithstanding, he said, the Government had put in place several interventions to revamp the cocoa sector.

With the implementation of the artificial pollination exercise and irrigation schemes, the cocoa sector would soon witness sharp improvement in the next season, he said.

Mr Anthony Mensah, the Asutifi District Chief Executive, said the Government was poised to implement poverty reduction interventions to raise the standard of living of Ghanaians and urged the people to register with the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

Source: Ghana News Agency