Fall armyworms not yet defeated - Agricultural Workers Union

By Muhammed Ali

The General Secretary of the Ghana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), Edward Kareweh has dismissed claims that the fall army-worms have been destroyed.

Despite the Agriculture Ministry's pronouncements that the armyworms had been defeated, he insisted that such position will rather prolong efforts to deal with the infestation.

"They might also have known the task was enormous, but said they would defeat it completely when they knew they could not. The fall armyworms are not like the normal armyworms. They have migrated from somewhere, we’ve never encountered them before," he said.

According to Mr Kareweh government did not understand the full implications of the armyworms infestations thus came to the wrong conclusion that they had defeated it.

“The invasion is ongoing. As long as the armyworms continue to be on our soil, they’ll continue to cause destruction because each day, the armyworm must live and destroy. As to whether you consider the destruction significant or not is up to your own judgement, but the armyworm continues to destroy," he said on Accra-based Citi Fm Thursday.

He said government was yet to understand the magnitude of the armyworms plague saying that: 

"It was better to be honest that you were not sure of the outcome of the battle with a new enemy, but would make sure it’s defeated. If you look at the story all along, you get the sense that the challenges of defeating the armyworms have been downplayed to look as though we’ll walk over them. Today they’ve come to stay ”

Already over 112,000 farmlands have been infected with 14,000 farms completely destroyed. 4 million farmers whose farmlands have been infested continue to adopt crude methods in an attempt to salvage their farms.

"I don’t think the armyworms have surrendered", Mr Kareweh insisted.

He added that:"The Ministry stated that they had defeated the armyworm completely which we disagreed with. I don’t think we are near the stage where we can state that armyworms are out of our environment completely”.

“Government did not appear to have provided the needed resources to be able to fight the armyworms. The quantities of chemicals and pesticides that were sent were not enough. Either the total chemicals available were not enough or enough was provided, but it didn’t get to the farmers,” he added.

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