Seed World

Status Ghana: Armyworm Infestation Loss

corn hybrids

Ghana is estimated to have lost about $64 million to fall armyworm infestation. The pests, detected some 15 months ago, have since attacked more than 20,000 hectares ( about 49,421 acres) nationwide.

Researchers from the Biotechnology Research Programme (BRP) of the Crop Research Institute (CRI), believe the development and use of GM maize could stop the destruction.

Professor Marian Quain, BRP leader, said studies have shown that GM maize with built-in disease-resistant genes have the potential to withstand the harmful effects of these pests.

Addressing a seminar jointly organized by the CRI and National Bio-safety Authority at Fumesua in the Ejisu Municipality, she noted that the conventional agricultural system had become fraught with varied challenges.

This had been due to the changing climatic conditions, overpopulation and excessive use of pesticides and insecticides.

Quain asked that the nation facilitate the processes for the acceptance of GM-related technology in plant breeding and crop production to enhance food security, given the emerging threats to agricultural productivity.

The program brought together agricultural researchers, extension officers, plant breeders, seed growers, environmentalists, health experts and the media with the goal of sensitizing participants on genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).

Quain said the BRP would continue to engage policymakers and stakeholders for the adoption of GM-related technology to address agricultural problems.

Professor Emmanuel Otoo, a CRI principal research scientist, said for a country hoping to improve its food stock, science and technology remained the most important tools to achieve that.

Source: GNA.