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Ghanaian farmer group supports adoption of GM food

gm-cropsThe Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen (GNAFF) has declared its support for the introduction of genetically modified (GM) food in the country.

“GNAFF is committed to promoting and embracing any proven technology that is beneficial to agriculture, especially smallholder farmers and fishers in Ghana, and this includes biotechnology (Bt),” the National Secretary of GNAFF, Mr John Dziwornu, declared at a press briefing in Accra yesterday.

The press briefing was to state the position of GNAFF as food experts and civil society organisations (CSOs) lock horns over the introduction of GM food in the country.

Position of GNAFF

Mr Dziwornu, however, pointed out that even though the association supported the modernisation of agriculture, “GNAFF will ensure that the processes for adopting such technologies are safe and sustainable for the country.  Thus, we are in support of the passing of the Biosafety Act  5831 of 2011 and the Breeders Bill”.

He said the association was at a loss regarding the position taken by “some other organisations to prevent the passing of this bill”.

Mr Dziwornu cautioned that if the Breeders Bill was not passed, it would pose serious danger to the country, as there would be no set protocols to regulate the introduction and use of biotechnology in the country.

Benefits of Breeders Bill

Mr Dziwornu said the legislation, among others, was to regulate the introduction and use of biotechnology in the agricultural sector and, thus, provided for all the safety requirements that would guide the process to be of international standards.

He cautioned that in the event of Ghana delaying in adopting GM food and the Breeders Bill,  “we may be overwhelmed with cowpea from Burkina Faso and Nigeria after completion of their confined field trials and onward commercial releases”.

Influx of GM products

“Our markets are already flooded to the disadvantage of our farmers with agricultural products from other countries,” he said, adding that most of those countries had already adopted biotechnology and thus had already introduced Bt foods into Ghana.

Source: Daily Graphic

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