Crop Biotech Update

Scientists and Farmers Recognize Need for Biotech in Ghana

March 25, 2015

Ghanaian scientists and farmers have agreed on the country's need to harness the benefits of biotechnology for the country, despite opposition by a section of stakeholders.

Speaking at a recent event of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology held at the Water Research Institute (WRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr. A.B Salifu, Director General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) affirmed that biotechnology will boost food production and called on concerted efforts by experts to allay fears on genetically modified organisms (GMO). Prof. Alhassan, the Director of Biotechnology and Stewardship for Sustainable Agriculture in West Africa (BSSA) urged farmers to ignore claims against GMOs, saying that there was no tangible evidence to prove its threat to humans. He added that the usage of the GM seeds in the country was a matter of choice and advised that biotechnology should be given a chance to revolutionize agriculture and move with modern trends.

Also at the meeting, the President of the Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen, John Awuku said that farmers, especially small holder farmers, have recognized the important role that improved seeds and fertilizers play in increasing yield and income. He noted that Ghana needs a vigorous education campaign on GMO, plant breeding and biosafety issues to clear misconceptions in the minds of Ghanaians and also enable the general public to understand issues.

For more information on the forum, contact Dr. Margaret Ottah Atikpo, coordinator of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Ghana at magatik@yahoo.co.uk