Ghana's Cotton Farmers Call for Bt Cotton Adoption
Cotton farmers in Ghana have called for the speedy adoption of Bt cotton to revamp cotton production in the country. The farmers who were joined by other stakeholders in the sector issued the call through a communiqué to the Ministers of Agriculture, Trade and industry and Science Technology. The farmers issued the communiqué on 28 November 2013, at the end of a two-day biotechnology and biosafety sensitization workshop organized by the country's leading research institute – The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in partnership with various other international partners including ISAAA AfriCenter in Tamale, Northern Ghana.
Farmers decried the fact that they were lagging behind compared to their counterparts in Burkina Faso. "We didn't know the secret, but now we do. Northern Ghana has the same climatic conditions as Burkina Faso. Therefore why can't we expect to be able to emulate their success with Bt cotton farming? We hope the ongoing research on Bt cotton can be hastened by the government and the scientists so that we can enhance our cotton productivity," noted Mr. Abdulrahman Mohamed, Chair of Cotton Farmers Association.
In addition to Bt cotton, there are currently three other biotech crops at different research trial stages in Ghana. They include Bt cowpea, high protein sweet potato and NEWEST rice. The country is expected to commercialize Bt cotton by 2015.
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This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)