ACCRA, Ghana’s Food and Agriculture Minister, Dr Akoto Owusu-Afriyie, has declared that the Fall Armyworm attack, which ravaged thousands of farms across the country, has been defeated.

He said here Monday that Ghana had been able to manage the worm invasion better compared with its neighbours in the West African sub-region.

Dr Owusu-Afriyie made the claim when he appeared before Parliament’s Public Account Committee (PAC) to respond to some violations contained in the 2015 Auditor General’s Report in relation to his Ministry. The PAC is currently holding public sittings on the Report of the Auditor General for the year ended 31st December, 2015.

Dr Owusu-Afriyie insisted that the government deserved commendation and not condemnation for how it managed the Fall Armyworm invasion of farms across the nation. He said the menace was a biological phenomenon and, as such, it was not possible to eliminate every single worm from the system.

In order for anybody to assess whether the worm had been defeated it would be necessary to check whether it could have a negative impact on food production, he said, while expressing optimism that Ghana was likely to have a bumper harvest this year.

If there was any threat of famine, the Ministry would be the first to raise the red flag, he said. He explained that out of a total of one million hectares of farmlands, 124,000 hectares were affected by the Fall Armyworm attack and 14,000 hectares were completely destroyed.

He said the Ministry had taken steps to support farmers whose lands had been completely destroyed with new seeds, fertilizer and chemicals for the minor crop season. The Fall Armyworm is actually the larval life stage of a moth. It can wreak havoc on crops if left to multiply.