Farmers Caution Parliament On GMOs
Mr. Bern Guri making a power point presentation
Victoria Adongo, Executive Member of the Ghana Peasant Farmers Association (GPFA), has cautioned Members of Parliament (MPs) not to rush to pass the Plant Breeders Bill (PBB), which is currently before it.
Ms Adongo gave the advice during a sensitization workshop jointly organized by the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD) in collaboration with Graphic Communications Limited for media personnel, peasant farmers and other interest groups in Accra recently.
She said the consensus reached by both the Majority and Minority in Parliament was unfortunate and called for total rejection of the PBB.
A peasant farmer at Abokobi in the Greater Accra Region, Tetteh Nartey, described arguments that promote the use of GMOs and PBB as misleading, adding Ghana would not face food shortage in future.
Mr. Nartey criticized the Ministry of Food & Agriculture (MOFA) for failing to adequately manage post-harvest loses over the years.
He said government was only interested in importing food rather than securing produce in the country.
‘I am not in anyway against innovations in agriculture but such innovations must not come to us at the instance of foreigners,’ Mr Nartey said.
‘What have the scientists done with regards to improving traditional seed quality including those of the then vibrant Ghana Seed Company?’ he quizzed.
‘What would happen to the price of GMO seeds in case the law becomes operational during an unstable economy and cedi?’
The Executive Director of CIKOD, Bern Guri, said owing to the debate on GMOs and PBB, Ghanaians were convinced that they do not need the PBB at least for the next 20 years.
Mr. Bern Guri stated that the survey, which covered the 10 regions of Ghana, took into consideration economic benefits, political, legal and health implications for Ghanaians.
He also advised the relevant authorities to focus on management and land tenure system in order to boost food security in the country.
A representative of Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) said the ministry would use the Bio-safety Act to regulate seeds imported into the country.
By Solomon Ofori
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