Dr Sagre Bambangi, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, has commended farmers in Sissala for their effort at controlling the attack of the fall army worm on their farms.
The Deputy Minister of Agric gave the commendation during a field visit to some farms in the Sissala West and Sissala East Districts under the collaborative programme of the Youth in Agriculture Programme (YIAP) and Masara N’Arziki.
Dr Bambangi said touring through the farms, he could see evidence of the fall army worm attack on the farms as well as evidence of the efforts put in by farmers to control the worm and prevent it from destroying their farm crops.
He said though government provided the chemical free of charge for spraying, if the farmers had failed to put in the necessary effort to control the worm infestation, the story would have been different and that the resources would have been wasted.
The Deputy Agric Minister explained the partnership between YIAP and Masara and said Masara had a track record of timely delivery, hence the decision by government to partner the company through YIAP, an initiative under the “Planting for Food and Jobs” (PFJs) programme.
Dr Bambangi said he was impressed with the manner in which the youth had taken advantage of the YIAP/Masara collaboration to expand their farms, hinting that such was the intention of government.
Enusah Zakaria, a 30-year-old Farmer from Buoti community in the Sissala West District said last year he could only do 10 acres but that through the programme he was able to farm 30 acres of maize this year and hoping to increase to 56 next year.
He said when the fall army worm attacked his maize he was afraid of losing his farm, but that upon receiving the free chemical for spraying, he could now see that the worm was gone and the maize recovering from the attack.
Iddrisu Bakuri, a 26-year-old graduate of the Wa Senior High Technical School and Sulemani Badunkun, 40-year-old farmer who were both natives of Kunkorgu community in the same district equally expressed joy that their 30 and 40 acres of maize respectively were recovering fast from the army worm attack after the spraying.
Both farmers, who are hoping for a bumper harvest, thanked YIAP and Masara for the support to fight the worm infestation.
Mr Samuel Sey, Executive Secretary of Masara N’Arziki, said the experience gathered this year in combating the fall army worm infestation has enhanced their readiness to handle the worm more effectively in the next season.
Mr Klutse Kudomor, the National Coordinator of YIAP, said they have observed in many of the farms during their tour to many parts of the three regions of the north that indeed farms were attacked by the fall army worm but not destroyed.
Mr Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, urged the farmers to be guided by the experiences of the worm infestation and take proactive measures to avoid any of such in the coming season.
A farmers’ durbar was held at Bullu in the Sissala West District of the Upper West Region on the theme: “Creating Youth Agribusinesses through YIAP/Masara Collaboration”.