Barely 48 hours after TV3’s report on the invasion of cocoa farms by armyworms within the Ejisu-Juaben and Mampong municipalities of the Ashanti Region, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has intervened.
The Cocoa Health Extension Division of COCOBOD has presented several boxes of insecticide to affected cocoa farmers to control the spread of the pests.
Farmers in 25 cocoa-growing communities within the Ejisu-Juaben and Mampong municipalities have been thrown in frustration as they are on the verge of losing their investments to the invasion by the worms.
The pests have within two days destroyed over 50 acres of cocoa farms in the affected communities.
The pests move from one farm to the other despite the application of insecticides to control them.
There are concerns the situation could impede the attainment of the one-million-metric-tonne target of cocoa production in the country if immediate measures are not put in place for redress.
But the Mampong Cocoa Health Extension Division (CHED) of COCOBOD has stepped in to rescue of the affected cocoa farmers.
On Monday, April 24, the Division supplied free insecticides to 15 out of the 25 affected communities to control the pests.
Mampong District Extension Coordinator of CHED Beatrice Boakye says the insecticides have been tested to be very effective in the control of armyworms.
“It is necessary we control the armyworm infestation on time because a little delay can cause huge devastation to cocoa production in the country. We have used the Akate Master insecticide to eliminate the armyworms in some affected cocoa farms, that’s why we believe it is the right insecticide to fight the pests here.”
Some of the affected farmers commended TV3 for prompting the swift response from authorities with the hope that the insecticides will help them recoup some of their losses.
“We thank TV3 for pressing on the appropriate authorities to come to our aid with these insecticides,” said an affected farmer, Antwi Augustine.
Mrs Beatrice Boakye advised the farmers to report any unusual pest invasion on their farms to the district agric office to avert severe loss.
The second batch of insecticides distribution to the remaining ten affected communities is expected to continue on Tuesday.
By Ibrahim Abubakar|3news.com|Ghana