MOFA, CSRI begin research into diamond back moth pest

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Crop Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSRI-CRI) have begun collaborative research into the outbreak of Blight disease of cabbage at Adaeso in the Bosome Freho District of Ashanti.

The disease is caused by the Diamond Back Moth pest which releases fungus into the exotic vegetable and according to affected farmers, the pest has easily developed resistance to pesticides for the last few years.

According to the farmers who grow cabbage on large scale in the area, the disease had worsened their economic fortunes, resulting in others quitting cabbage farming in the area.

Dr Joseph Nketia Berchie, a Principal Research Scientist at the CSIR- CRI and the Ashanti Regional Coordinator of the Research Extension Farmers Linkage Committee, explained to the Ghanaian Times at a stakeholders’ meeting at Adaeso that, the disease was not new in the country and that the Institute had already started research into the disease and the nature of the pest.

He disclosed that, CSIR- CRI researchers had already proposed zoning the farm district into sections for the application of selected pesticides for a period and swapping it with time, training farmers in the techniques of pesticides application, among others, to manage the situation.

The Ashanti Regional Director of MoFA, Reverend John Manu, addressing the meeting said the research would not only involve MoFA and CSIR-CRI, but would have to involve the farmers because of their direct involvement with the problem.

Rev. Manu also disclosed that, researchers were in talks with some selected agro-chemical dealers, including B Kaakyire Agro-Chemicals and Frankovando Ventures, to supply researchers with chemicals for the research as the suitable chemical is expected to be discovered.

Meanwhile the Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Madam Elizabeth Agyemang, who called for the research into the disease, pledged the government’s support for the farmers through the supply of farming logistics and finance, encouraging them not to lose hope.

She indicated that the government, through its Planting for Food and Jobs, would ensure that farmers in the area got better price for their produce during harvesting.


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