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Authorities of the North Tongu District Directorate of Agriculture has assured crop farmers in the area of the Directorate's preparedness to fight any army worm outbreak in the area this year.
Mr. Peter Heh, District Director of Agriculture, said this in an interview with Ghana News Agency on the side lines of the commissioning of a health facility at Deve, a farming community in the area.
This follows a request by a farmer of the area, Mr Dickson Soweto Wunake, about Government's plan if the worms break out, fertilizer supply and other inputs.
"The 2017 experience when the worms first took us unawares, without prior preparations, leaving several farms devastated, made us to destroy them last year when they hit again and we are already set for them this 2019," Mr Heh said.
He said about ten cartons of Eradicoat, Best Farmer, Agoo and Eforia insecticides, which are excesses of what Government supplied them to combat the worms with in 2018, were ready in their stores, adding, "we are ready for 2019".
He said the farmers were already well-trained last year and also have enough machines to spray the farms with the insecticides to be supplied to them for free.
"What we would be doing as quickly as possible now is to hold fora for the farmers groups to set their minds ready on what pertains at our unit and what they must also be doing or to be ready for," Mr. Heh said.
He said for example, the farmers will be informed to report any suspicious worms on their farmers for verification by his unit before the chemicals are released to them.
According to him, expert verification of reported worms was important before the release of chemicals, because not all worms one sees in farms are army worms.
Mr. Richard Collins Arku, District Chief Executive (DCE) of the area, also in the related interview, appealed to farmers to continue to rely on the Agricultural Extension Officers (AEOs) in the area so as to improve their lot.
Government, he said was committed to ensuring farmers in the area as well got the needed support in agricultural inputs, equipment and protection to increase the country's agricultural production.
According to him, farmers in the area for example, have not been left out in Government's flagship agricultural policies, such as planting for food and jobs as well as subsidies for fertilizer, which were still running.
Mr. Arku urged the youth to venture into agricultural related activities, emphasising they can turn around their lives if they saw agriculture as a pure business venture.
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