Local Company Finds Antidote To Fall Armyworm - Courts Government’s Patronage

A Ghanaian company that has developed the first ever local antidote to combat the fall armyworm has called on the government to support the company by patronising the product to ensure food security.

Equatorial Healthcare Services, based at Sakumono in the Greater Accra Region, is the manufacturer of the concentrated liquid chemical known as Equatorial Agro Blaster.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Equatorial Healthcare Services, Professor Kwasi Adomako Ohemeng, urged the government not to look beyond the borders of the country for a solution to the fall armyworm menace because “we have a locally proven solution”.

He said if the locally made chemical was well patronised, the company, which currently has 50 employees, would be enabled to expand its operations and employ more people, especially the youth.

He said unlike most of the agro-chemicals imported into the country which were synthetic and toxic and had devastating effects on humans, animals and plants, the Equatorial Agro Blaster was organic, biodegradable and did not leave the chemical in the environment after use.


Prof. Ohemeng made the call when he visited the Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Kobby Asmah, in his office in Accra as part of measures to solicit support and promote the Equatorial Agro Blaster and other agro-chemical products manufactured by the company.

A team from the Daily Graphic, subsequently, followed up with a visit to the factory of Equatorial Healthcare Services, where its workers were seen busily undertaking quality control processes in a laboratory with modern facilities.

The team also visited the Production Unit, where the chemicals and other products the company produces were being bottled and labeled by machines.

The factory has a warehouse where some of the company’s products are stored.

Apart from producing an agro-chemical against the fall armyworm, the company also produces other solutions, such as Equatorial Super Agro

Blaster for fumigation, Equatorial methylated spirit, povidine iodine, surgical scrub and rubbing alcohol used as hospital disinfectant.

It also manufactures household disinfectants, namely, Equatorial Cockroach Blaster, Housefly Blaster and Tick and Flea Blaster.

Other products the company produces and which are cosmetic in nature include Equitex Nail Polish Remover, Equitex dissolvent, Equiclean hand sanitiser and Equatorial bodyguard.

Prof. Ohemeng said “the fall armyworm attacks food crops and, therefore, any chemical that is applied to control the worm must not be toxic”.

“We have worked with the Environmental Protection Agency the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate in the Ashanti Region, and between January and May last year, scientists from the University of Ghana tested our Equatorial Agro Blaster on three crops, namely, maize, okro and cabbage on the University Farm at Kpong and the results were positive,” he said.


He said the company’s biggest challenge, after it had developed the Equatorial Agro Blaster, was how to sell it.

Prof. Ohemeng said the company had contacted the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to purchase the product for distribution to farmers, saying it hoped to receive a favourable response.

Fall army worm

The Fall Armyworm (FAW), also known as Spodoptera frugiperda, is a devastating pest that invaded parts of Africa in 2016.

It mainly attacks the maize crop at different stages of growth, from early vegetative to physiological maturity.

It can cut down young plants and also damage leaves, giving them a ragged, torn appearance.

The pest feeds inside whorls of plant leaf and can destroy silk and developing tassels.

The worm can also feed on developing kernels and reduce yields through exposure of cobs to secondary infection.

Even though the worm prefers maize, it can feed on more than 80 plants.