Armyworms invasion as Ghana declares ‘Agricultural state of emergency’


Armyworms are like caterpillars that attack crops on farm lands, wiping out entire fields. Recently, Ghana’s parliament has been asked by the Agriculture Minister to declare a ‘state of emergency’ over armyworms invasion which is currently threatening a $133m project (560 million cedis) in the country.

The sector minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie, issued a memo to the Cabinet asking the legislature to allow unbudgeted funds for a mass spraying exercise to combat the invasion of the worms on farm land. He stated that it is the only solution to curb the situation.

In addition, the Minister has described the armyworms as being capable of destroying farms, hence the need for urgent action to avert the looming crisis.

As a matter of urgency, reports indicate that the armyworms have invaded parts of the country’s food providing areas; the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Eastern regions. Farmers in the respective areas will be financially affected as huge lose awaits them if the situation is not normalised really soon.

Ghanaian government recently launched an ambitious Agric project dubbed the ‘Planting for Foods and Jobs Program,’ it is meant to boost the country’s food production sector and to create jobs for the unemployed youth. The advent of these warms has tampered and still tampering with the success of the programme.

In other words, the armyworms outbreak on the continental level is said to have already caused damage to crops in Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, with reports also confirming that Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia are affected. Urgent solution is needed to curb this situation before hunger starts to set in.

Some experts have confirmed that chemicals can be used to destroy the pest in its early stages, but after that, it becomes harder to tackle. However, some population of fall armyworms have developed resistance which has made them really difficult to destroy.

This unwanted situation is occurring at most countries’ thirsty period for food. The invasion comes at a time when most of the affected countries especially in Southern and Eastern Africa are suffering from a drought that has left about 2.7 million people in need of food aid. Presently, the situation is getting out of hand has most needed food are being destroyed by these worms.

It was reported that armyworms destroyed 2,000 hectares of crops in Malawi, spreading to nine of its 28 districts in the last few weeks. Malawi, which was hit by a crippling drought last year, has become the third Southern African nation to report an outbreak of armyworms, a voracious pest that devours maize and other crops.

Also, in the last few months, South African farmers battled with armyworm invasion that has already caused devastation on their crops. The maize-destroying caterpillars have destroyed eight per cent of the country’s farmland.

These armyworms are really food thirsty. The present situation caused by armyworms on Ghana farm lands has risen higher than alarm. The proposed Agricultural state of emergency in the country is a stepping stone to curb the situation. The government has promised to do it’s best to bring the sector back to normal.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.