Crop Biotech Update

Minister Pledges Government Support for Biotechnology in Ghana

December 4, 2013

Ghana's Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry Nii Lantey Vanderpuye has reaffirmed the commitment of his  government to introduce Bt cotton farming. The Minister made the declaration when he visited the Bt cotton and Bt cowpea trial sites on 29 November in Tamale, Ghana. The Minister noted that the government was concerned that the country's cotton production was well below potential and that the government had identified introducing Bt cotton as one of the strategies for revamping the sector.

"We pledge our support to these wonderful innovations by our scientists. The government is very committed to improving agricultural productivity in the country by adopting more high yielding crop varieties like the Bt cotton and Bt cowpea varieties that I have seen being developed here by scientists from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)", noted the Minister. During the event  the Minister received a communiqué from cotton farmers in the region petitioning the government and its researchers to hasten the process for them to officially start growing Bt cotton.

Ghana is among a growing number of African countries to show positive progress towards adopting agricultural biotechnology. Significant development within the sector in the country lately have included, the promulgation of the Biosafety Act (Act 831) in 2011 and subsequent research work that is currently ongoing within the country on various biotech crops including Bt cotton, Bt cowpea, high protein sweet potato and NEWEST rice. Bt cotton is currently under limited open field trials in the Northern region of the country.

For more information about biotech in Africa, contact jodhong@isaaa.org.