Kpaliga (N/R), The Fall Armyworm (FAW) detected in the country last year has so far infected a total of 18,000 hectares (ha) of farmlands.
The Brong- Ahafo Region recorded the highest infestation rate of 2,765 while the Northern Region had 1,083 ha infestation rate, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced.
Dr Roger Kanton, the Deputy Director of CSIR- Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) announced this at Kpaliga, a farming community in the Kumbungu district during a sensitisation programme on the FAW problem.
The programme, which was organised by SARI with support from USAID and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa was aimed at sharing ideas and to suggest ways of reducing the FAW impact in the coming planting season.
Dr Kanton said FAW was detected in the Yilo Krobo District in the Eastern Region and had since spread to all the 10 regions.
He announced that government had allocated GHc 16 million for the purchase of insecticide and organise personnel to tackle the pest across the country.
He said FAW had attacked huge farmlands in the Brong- Ahafo Region and had infested d a total farmland area of 4,300ha in the past season.
Dr Kanton said the the Brong- Ahafo Region recording the highest infested area of 2,765ha followed by the Northern Region with 1,083.
He said: This area will definitely increase further as farmers in northern Ghana are yet to establish their farms for the 2017 major season.
Maize being a major component of our diet suggests a probable threat to our Food security as a country if the damaging effects of this pest is not curtailed, he said.
Dr Abudulai Mumuni, Head of Crop Protection at CSIR-SARI who took the members of the Kpaliga through the life cycle of the insect pest advised them to work hard and be abreast of the features of the pest to avoid large destruction in the future.
He said the pest originated from the US and was accidentally introduced into some parts of Africa.
Madam Hawa Musa, the Tolon District Director of Agriculture said there were chemicals to control the insect pest even though less in quantity.
She advised farmers to reach out to Agricultural Extension Officers for help when they suspect the slightest anomalies with their crops and commended CSIR-SARI for the programme, which would have a positive impact on farming.
FAW had caused damage to many farmlands in Ghana and the monetary value of yield losses is about $ 164 million.
Source: Ghana News Agency