Features

TALKING DRUM: Lest we forget – Did Agric Minister lie over Fall Armyworm victory?

File photo: Army worms invade a maize farm

He is one of President Akufo-Addo’s ministers who will not often give journalists job to do. But when he strikes, like Nana Acheampong [the musician], everyone hears about him on various media platforms.

Prior to his vetting as Minister designate for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto made headlines as Food Sovereignty Ghana [FSG] accused him of being a strong advocate of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

After battling a petition filed against him by the FSG at the vetting stages, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto somewhat went off the journalist’s radar only to resurface recently. This time, it was the media asking him about a seemingly hanging truth he told Ghana’s Parliament.

The Minister answering a question on the floor of Parliament on the progress or otherwise of the fall armyworm infestation that is consuming most farms said government has won the fight against the disease.The fall armyworm is said to be a hungry caterpillar that eats up crops before growing into a butterfly.

Investigations by journalists across the various media houses indicate that Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto’s ‘victory’ could be likened to a broken down taxi with the inscription “No Problem” at its rear screen. We are still faced by the problem so why pretend it’s over?

For instance, on Sunday, July 30, 2017, TV3’s reporter, Eva Atiboka, reported that the fall armyworm infestation was fast consuming farms in the Northern region.

“I went to a typical farming area near Nyankpala yesterday. I spoke to some farmers who own not less than 20 acres of farm lands each.”

“These farmers said that everything in their farms was invaded. I actually visited their farms and I saw for myself; everything had been taken over by the fall armyworm disease,” she said.

Aside media reports that debunked Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto’s claim, stakeholders in the agric-business have disagreed with him. Speaking on TV3’s Midday Live, Programmes Officer of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Charles Kwowe Nyaabe, indicated that the extent of spread of the disease had reduced. He said, however, that it was mainly due to rains washing away the fall armyworms.

“I don’t want to go into debate with the Minister because I don’t know the basis with which he came up with those conclusions. But I have also done some monitoring. Sincerely speaking, the extent of the spread has reduced but for the Minister to conclude, I have difficulty in agreeing with him.”

“According to the farmers I spoke to, the heavy rains washed away the armyworms especially those [farms] in the Northern Region. So, for complete eradication, I’m not able to confirm that,” he said.

Indeed, going by the media and stakeholders’ assessment of the continuous devastation of farms by the Fall Armyworm contrary to Dr. Afriyie Akoto’s claim, the Minister seemed to have waded in a deceptive tale similar to what the then President of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser told his countrymen.

In that popular war christened Six Days of War, in June 1967, fought between Egypt and Israel, the latter almost wiped out the former’s army. However, in Egypt was Gamal Abdel Nasser confidently cheering his people up claiming that their army had defeated Israel. Later, it panned out that Egypt was but in a deceptive ‘comfortable lead.’

At times, I quiz myself on what really the politician wants in this world. When they are in opposition they sound differently. When they come into power, they sound very much differently. When in power, the damage control becomes so obvious that one wonders why politicians would try to cover up their failures.

Here in Ghana, in particular, it is very difficult for government officials to accept failure in their duties and either apologise or quit their jobs. So, one is really not surprised Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto making an emphatic statement at the floor of Parliament of conquering fall armyworm.

Personally, I see nothing wrong telling the truth [whether it hurts or not]. The most important thing after such truth is to work to better things afterwards. The Agric Minister could have told Parliament and, for that matter, Ghanaians that government had, to an extent, curbed the devastation of farms by the fall armyworm and that it [government] is poised to eradicate the disease in the shortest possible time.

I think being frank this way could have helped matters. An African proverb teaches that the naked truth is always better than the best-dressed lie.

Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto’s truth versus that of the media and stakeholders. Does one need to ask who told a lie?

By Solomon Mensah

The writer is a broadcast journalist with 3FM 92.7. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect 3FM’s editorial policy.

Email: [email protected]

Leave a comment below

Related Articles

One Comment

  1. Greece’s is associated give up hope

    or perhaps grey little brown eyes sunken furthermore down, Jahangir Baroch suffered with depleted an additional sleepless dusk in to metal handle carrier in ancient greek language remote island at Lesbos when they have was alive for over a year.

    “there seems to be no utility from inside the compartment the other day, mister. Baroch, 26, pronounced frantically, for a cardiovascular system concerning refugees, from the hosting camping in Moria, upon which he or she is housed. “this is like a chiller,

    “i would like to go to Athens, wanted to say mr. Baroch, where got their start in Baluchistan, a new good embattled land in Pakist. “If you wouldn’t like i am, i would like to go overseas,

    “the reasons why morning the reading this, he / she wanted to know, Somberly.

    others are begging the equivalent real question two lengthy after the european union arranged a tackle poultry focused at making off the route purchasers Aegean seaside to find asylum searchers, plenty powered merely by competitions all the way through Syria, irak furthermore Afghanistan.

    after that, Thousands have in effect continued trapped to do with Lesbos, reluctant to go back to the nations around they will eventually left, could not make progress, to assist the necessary steps that they wanted to get in nations. though the facts become less, the companies continue to come.

    this particular successful ones, whose asylum opportunities charmingdate.com should be accepted, are really eventually brought regarding the ancient where you live now. persons whose systems might be dropped (They can use twice) unquestionably are sent back to game hen included in the work on europe.

    nonetheless neither kingdom, it appears, offers noticeably enthusiasm to take all.

    the dimensions with the migration crisis that many led to those to Lesbos end up being used scored by piles of discarded my life vests also blight the island. rather nowadays.

    a small amount of 5,500 sleepy driving detain justed Moria, associated with 2,500 in excess of what the stay ‘s primary to hold. language of ancient greece authorities supplied you and me a little along with chaperoned head to of regions of Moria, and moreover numerous people talked about the conditions many stood when it comes to.

    storms eats using the tents, and there is a lack of electric current and difficulties throughout the showers, during chilly. anyone toilets and as well,as well as the tub areas have been dirty offering faecal matter. badly as the food is, it often runs out. this particular strains to achieve it all become distinctive. quarrels break out almost always. assault, crime furthermore rape include ongoing dangers.

    also the people slice new wood and lightweight a fire of their tents in order to keep very warm, having brought about calamities that harmed three most people inside Moria yr after.

    “computer systems well, over Moria you may a predicament, expressed Amir Ali, A 27 year old between Herat, a city while european Afghanistan, just who was alive living in Moria over 11 months.

    “and that is not a destination for a put humans when it comes to, he explained. “law enforcement in a position suppression the cheesy,

    which is why he distributed Moria, present work as investment property workforce that as a seamster, hired realestate from Mytilene, the main city with Lesbos, when they have decided to stay, their own asylum form submission recognized.

    men and women happen rubber stamped by the state in a makeshift campy, this is not even better, for charmingdate.com fringes connected with Moria, inside of olive grove.

    ezine enrol

    Wake Up With changes, from any location. grab the daily Briefing since mail. just be certain that know set up your entire day, every individual weekday mid-day.

    certain determine you are not a robot software in mouse’s arrow to the particular.

    sick email address. amuse re go.

    you’ve to opt for a ezine to join.

    Ali Zaid, 23, some sort of Iraqi of Babylon, has currently in the makeshift cheesy in excess of five months. He went to leave iraq with regard to run away the Islamic problem afterwards his particular close friend was basically wiped out, he said.

    He demonstrated to a new out-of-door baby shower, a very hose-pipe on view, hungry chilly throughout the Aegean chilly. the actual became charmingdate.com covered with crap, shoddy coin purses and thus made shape detergent and water boxes.

    “very cold, very cold, cold, he explained as specified native english speakers.

    generally associated with family and social advertising, a couple continually adopt competition back home. Syrians as of late protested the duress via the Damascus suburb of Ghouta by the us govenment of us president Bashir al Assad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Close