Expert advocates neem oil as organic pest control agent

An Expert for Inputs and Crop Protection at the Market Oriented Agricultural Programme-North West (MOAP-NW), Mr Emile Aman has encouraged farmers in the Upper West Region to adopt the use of neem oil as an organic pest control agent for their crops.

He said neem seed powder could also be used as a fertiliser supplement to improve absorption, while the neem seed oil could be used as a pesticide for every kind of crop for preventive measure.

“The neem oil insecticide is often a great solution if insects or mites bother your plants. Neem oil is extracted from neem seeds and it is very healthy for crops, so I encourage farmers to use it effectively to help save the crops”, he said.

Mr. Aman was speaking from a Neem Processing Facility established by his outfit at Wa on Friday, when the Regional Programme Coordinating Unit (PCU) of the European Union Ghana Agriculture Programme (EU-GAP) visited some EU-GAP projects sites in the region.

The visit was to afford the project implementers the opportunity to inspect and discuss progress of work as well as results achieved so far and strengthen existing relationship between the project and beneficiary Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) in the region.

He said the project was borne out of a quest to reduce the use of synthetic pesticide and its harmful effects on the environment and human lives.

Mr Aman stated that the project which was still at its pilot stage in 14 selected districts and municipalities in MOAP-NW operational areas in the Upper West, Savannah and North East Regions would help provide jobs for women who would be collecting the neem seeds to feed the processing factories.

The Technical Advisor of the PCU of EU-GAP, Mr Joseph Apeeliga added that the monitoring which would be done quarterly was necessary to enable the PCU ascertain for itself the nature of the projects being implemented and their potential benefit to the respective MDAs.

He hinted that the projects visited were under MOAP-NW and the Resilient Against Climate Change (REACH) under the EU-GAP.

Mr Apeeliga explained that the PCU was an advisory body that had oversight responsibilities over implementation of the EU-GAP programme and its members drawn from relevant agencies and departments in beneficiary regions.

The team visited an e-Learning project at the Jirapa Municipal Assembly under the REACH project, a rice mill at Antika Company Ltd, and a Neem Crop Protector facility (neem seeds processing facility) at the Regional Department of Agriculture under the MOAP-NW project.

FROM RAFIA ABDUL RAZAK, WA

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