Biotech Updates

Ghana Hosts 1st Pan-Africa Biotechnology Stewardship Conference

December 2, 2011

The Agriculture Minister of Ghana, Kwesi Ahwoi, announced that the country would pay attention to all areas that could gain benefits from biotechnology. Thus, the country would foster collaborations with the Biotechnology and Nuclear Research Institute (BNARI) and other institutions involved in biotechnology. The country aims to reap the benefits of biotechnology that could lead to rapid modernization and commercialization of Ghanaian agriculture without sacrificing biosafety issues.

Ghana hosted the First Pan-African Biotechnology Stewardship Conference held in Accra, bearing the theme "Africa Managing Safe and High Quality Biotech Crops." Ahwoi stressed in his speech that modern biotechnology tools held a considerable promise to develop crop varieties and livestock breeds to withstand environmental stresses.

"The challenge for Ghana is how to increase yields by increasing fertilizer application, move from rain fed to irrigated agriculture, from one tractor per 1,500 farmers to 500 farmers in medium term and move from head loading of farm produce to the use of mechanized transportation in addition susceptibility of crop varieties to pest and diseases and limited availability of drought tolerant planting material," Ahwoi added.

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