The Member of Parliament for Zabzugu Constituency in the Northern Region has advised the government to start engaging the neighbouring countries on the fight against armyworm invasion in Ghana.
Alhassan Umar is of the view that if the government is able to contain the situation, its efforts would be wasted since the armyworms could spread back into the country.
“Are you working with our neigbouring countries? We have to work toward prevention than cure”, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP suggested on TV3 New Day hosted by Bright Nana Amfoh on Friday.
Mr. Umar was contributing to a discussion on the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto’s declaration in Parliament on Thursday that the armyworm invasion has completely been defeated.
Over 15,000 hectares of farmlands have been destroyed nationwide by the worms. Farmers who were affected by the worms were given pesticides by the ministry to fight the invasion.
But the NDC MP claimed “if you are not a party (NPP) person, you don’t get the pesticides and fertilizers that were given to the farmers by the government. They (NPP) put the agric extension officers off and then party agents were selling the fertilizer to party people”.
“I don’t want to do mischief but it (pesticides and fertilizer) wasn’t sent to the farmers. For example, my constituency did not receive any chemical”, Mr. Umar explained.
He added that “the agric ministry is one of the decentralized government institutions in the country so the chemicals should have been sent earlier, but that was not done…currently as we sit, the ministry should have come out with incentives for the farmers whose crops have been destroyed”.
A member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Communications team, Gary Nimako Marfo advised that “those who are not going to plant new crops should make sure their farmlands are properly cordoned off”.
“Those who did not receive the fertilizer and pesticides must report to the relevant agency,” he cautioned, adding “I you don’t report to the relevant agric officer, how will they know you have armyworm invasion?”
Lawyer Nimako said “food security is important to all of us because without food security, all of us, our lives will be in jeopardy”.
By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|Onua 95.1FM|3news.com|Ghana