Biotech Updates

Ghanaian Farmers Call on Government to Support Biotech Outreach

October 7, 2015

Ghanaian Farmer Leaders have challenged their government and scientists to intensify outreach to farmers and other stakeholders in order to allay fears on the safety of GM crops and other biosafety issues. In a biotechnology and biosafety sensitization workshop held at Techiman, Central Ghana, in September, the farmer leaders stated that if similar workshops were organized at the grassroots, farmers "would not be holding placards and demonstrating over a technology that could possibly benefit them."

The workshop, organized by ISAAA AfriCenter and Program for Biosafety Systems, introduced the farmers to the basics of genetic engineering, and enlightened them about the national, regional, and global status of biotechnology and biosafety. In order to build their confidence in articulating biotechnology and biosafety issues with their peers, they were also trained in the principles of science communication and equipped with knowledge on where to source for credible information.

At the end of the workshop, the presidents of the four key farmer organizations represented at the forum, namely, Ghana Federation of Agricultural Producers, Farmers Organization Network in Ghana, Apex Farmers Organization, and Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen, signed a communiqué calling on the Government to facilitate adoption of GM crops since they had been adequately educated about the biosafety framework in the country.

The communiqué also appealed to scientists to work towards strengthening their relationship with farmers, as well as implored the government to give science and technology "space to improve the quality, accessibility, affordability and sustainability of food production."

For more information about the workshop, contact