Agric Minister Playing Politics with Armyworms Crisis
The Ranking member on the Committee in charge of Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, Eric Opoku has expressed shock at claims by the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Afriyie Akoto that the fall armyworm has been defeated describing the claim as a play of politics.
According to him, the attempt by the sector Minister to play politics with such a critical issue that has the potential of affecting the nation’s food security is very worrisome and must not be glossed over.
The Member of Parliament for the Asunafo South who was speaking in an interview with THE PUBLISHER newspaper said “..It is because of this politics that is killing the whole nation, there are issues that must not be taken into politics, this is about food security, without food, none of us can get up and be contributing to the development of our nation. And therefore we must approach issues that affect food security with the highest sense of objectivity’’.
He has therefore urged the Minister to avoid politicizing the issue to attract the needed inputs from all citizens to fight.
He described the Minister as “Commander of the Troupe” supposed to lead the war against the fall armyworm invasion. Therefore, the ‘Troup Commander’ should not be saying the battle has already been won, when in reality, the battle is yet to start.
Mr. Eric Opoku urged the Minister to get connected to the grounds to enable him appreciate the reality of the situation and eschew being economical with the truth to help find a credible and lasting solution to the challenge.
He advocates a stakeholder’s consultation forum to design a strategic plan with a high sense of objectivity to help tackle the devastating effects of the fall army worm which has already affected several thousands of farms.
He noted that a Director of Agriculture in a particular District visited by the Committee disclosed that over 16, 000 hectares of farms were affected but could only spray less than 2000 hectares due to lack of chemicals.
In the interim, the Asunafo South lawmaker urged government to as a matter urgency look for resources to begun mobilising the needed chemicals to help deal with the situation.
He also called for resourcing of Extension service officers with the needed logistics to help fight the reality.
Both the General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) and Parliament’s select committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs have cautioned the battle is not worn judging by happenings on the ground.
Scientists at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have also warned that if no prompt action is taken a major resurgence of the fall army worm pest is likely to befall the country next October.
The fall army worm invasion has since the begging of the year affected close to 113, 000 hectares of farm lands across the country.
Source: Christian Kpesese