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Increase in farm yields is expected despite armyworm canker – Deputy Agric Minister

Deputy Minister of Agriculture, William Quaitoo says there will be an increase in farm yields in 2018 despite the army worm infestation.

Speaking to Joy News’ Richard Nyarko, the minister said “if we are comparing our expected yields for 2017 to 2016, I say there will be no reduction”.

William Quaitoo said initially there was a little destruction of the maize farm because the armyworm was new to the country.

In April 2017, about 1,400 hectares were attacked by the fall armyworms.

The Agriculture Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto had said then that “it is under control, we’ve seen them spraying and by the end of the week, all the farms affected would have been sprayed and that will be the end of it.”

But by the end of May 2017, an estimated 18,200 hectares of maize farm had been affected by the worms.

Parliament asked the Ministry to declare an “agricultural state of emergency” as an armyworm invasion placed a GHȻ560m agricultural project at “serious” risk.

However, Mr. Quaitoo said the armyworm affected a few percentages of farm yields and it took some time to identify the worm and combact it.

He debunked rumours that the country will face hunger in 2017 saying the worm “only affected the little maize yields planted in the early season” and there will be an increase in farm yields.

He also said if a farm is affected, it does not mean it is destroyed.

Source: Myjoyonline

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