A leading agro-chemical and fertiliser company, Chemico Ltd, has completed a month-long sensitisation exercise aimed at educating farmers and extension/PPRSD officers across the country on the effective ways of using agro-chemicals to fight Fall Army Worms (FAW).
The training aimed at improving the capacities of participants in early detection and management of FAW as well as making them aware of insecticide products availability in their various localities for control.
The exercise was also used by the company to officially introduce four of its new products: Chemomectin, Chemaprid Super, Upholds 360 SC and biological insecticides proven to be very effective for fighting the Fall Army Worm infestations.
The month-long exercise began at Sunyani-Odumase in the Brong-Ahafo Region and recorded a large number of participants who were mainly maize farmers from the Sunyani-Odumase District.
With technical support was sought from: renowned entomologists from the African Regional Postgraduate Programme in Insect Science (ARPPIS), of the University of Ghana-Legon, the exercise attracted district directors of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and regional officers of the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) as well as agric extension officers and Youth in Agriculture (YEA) graduates.
Speaking to the media men at the end of the exercise, Mr. Gregory Amprofi, Business Development Manager at Chemico Ltd said the company had accepted that the FAW had come to stay and therefore urged the private sector to support the government in fighting this menace.
He advised farmers across the country to learn to be independent and not rely solely on government for the supply of agro-chemicals. "Agriculture is a business and you should be self-motivated to do things the right way if you want to promote your business," he explained.
Mr. Gilbert Sonkpi, Sunyani West District Director-MOFA admitted that the FAW was a pest that was destructive and called for concerted efforts to stop it.
"Chemico Ltd is not new to farmers in Sunyani West and we believe the insecticides they have introduced today will find a lasting solution to the menace," he observed and urged the farmers to embrace the new products to augment government's efforts in combating the worms.
In a goodwill message, the Director of Sales and Marketing-Chemico Ltd, Mr. Prince Agyemang Yeboah, commended efforts of government and various stakeholders who had helped manage the FAW invasion for the past two years that it surfaced in the country.
He assured farmers that with these novel products such as (Chemomectin, Chemaprid Super, Upholds 360 SC and the biological insecticides, FAW would be controlled effectively.
"Chemico Ltd since its establishment has been concerned about food security in the country which has resulted in the huge investment in plant and equipment for pesticide formulation and repackaging, fertiliser bulk blending plant and even warehouses both in Tema and Kumasi to ensure constant supply of quality farm inputs."
Participants at the month-long workshop included 1,200 farmers, 200 Agric Extension Agents (AEA) including Youth in Agriculture (YEA) personnel, 10 PPRSD officers trained and 50 distributors and retailers across the major maize growing regions in the country.