Maize Shortage Looms In Volta As Armyworms Invade Acres Of Farms

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Information available to Today indicates that maize farmers in some farming areas in North, Central and South Tongu Districts of the Volta Region are wailing over the wanton destruction by a large number of armyworms of acres of their maize farms.

Today understands that the dangerous armyworms invade and destroy vast acres of maize farms, posing serious threat to food security in the above districts and the Volta Region as a whole.

The worst-hit communities include Adidome, Mafi-Kumasi, Mepe, Asasekpui, Bakpa, Avedo, Battor, Avakpedome, Juapong, Agbadzikope, Agorve,Tsakpo, Tsetsekpo, Sogakope, parts of Agave and nearby communities in the region.

According to our investigations, the worms destroy large swathes of maize farms in these affected communities.

And following this development, Today gathered that peasant farmers were worried that their harvest for this year will be affected as efforts to stop the worms have failed.

In Mafi-Adidome Traditional Area, where the people are predominantly farmers, they told Today that they were facing one of the toughest moments, if not the harshest as farmers.

Although it was not harvest time, the paper learnt that most of the farmers would not have anything to harvest as all their life-savings have gone waste.

Today discovered in Adidome that the worms have taken over large acres of maize farms belonging to the Central North District Assembly.

According to our findings, destruction of the maize farms by the worms has become a source of worry to the District Chief Executive (DCE) of the area, Mrs. Mary Agbenyenu.

According to reports, the DCE recently told journalists in Adidome that the armyworms had destroyed several corn plants in the area.

The report said Mrs. Agbenyenuh lamented that the trend will affect earnings of maize farmers in the districts, and thus appealed to government to assist maize farmers to acquire appropriate pesticides to help mitigate the damage.

A 64-year-old farmer at Mafi-Asasekpui, Madam Ablavi Korve, stated that she has been farming for nearly three decades.

According to her, she grows her maize to feed his family and livestock, adding that she has a maize farm which is about two acres.

“When the maize plants started growing, the worms ate their leaves, which situation retarded their growth. After the rains set in seriously half of my plants survived,” Madam Korve told Today.

However, Today gathered that Madam Korve was not the only maize farmer whose farm had been hit by the armyworms in Mafi-Asasekpui community.

At Mepe Traditional Area, maize farmers expressed same sentiment over the destruction caused by the worms to their farms.

“We noticed recently that some worms were eating up the leaves of our maize plants. So we told our colleagues that if we don’t spray our farms then we cannot harvest anything. We have sprayed our farms five times already but the worms keep coming back,” the affected farmers lamented.

Meanwhile, our investigations have revealed that many farmers in these affected areas are almost giving up on the fight against the worms.

 

Source: Today Newspaper