THE President of the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana (NFFAWAG), Mr. Davies Narh Kroboe has declared his full support for the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms in Ghana. His call arises out of his concerns that population size keeps increasing despite the fact that land size remains the same. His call therefore arises out of the threats of food security which he insists necessitates the introduction of GMO.
The 2009 national best farmer was speaking at an awareness creation on Biotechnology or Biosafety, also known as GMO in Accra organized by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in collaboration with the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana (NFFAWAG).
Mr. Korboe had earlier indicated on Rite FM’s Agric Forum that large scale and plantation farmers who are forced to buy particular types of seed are better off having an alternative in the GMO seeds, adding that farmers stand the chance of a better yield in GMO seeds.
The NFFAWAG chairman expressed concern with the recorded losses of farmers who went in for loans as a result of poor harvests and called for an end to this challenge as a way forward is created for them.
To him, the research institutions must do a diligent work by doing proper risk assessment about the GMO to bring out all the risks associated with it. He added that though “nobody is advocating for the immediate introduction of the introduction of the GMO, the necessary consultation and researches must be done to ensure that it is a reliable option.
Responding to critics who believe GMOs are dangerous, Farmer Davies believes that there are risks involved with even the non-GMO foods we consume. The best way out therefore, is for concerned authorities to do proper awareness creation while the researchers also do their best to cut the risks associated.
The NFFAWAG chairman who insinuated that Ghanaians are already consuming the GMO due to the importation of food products from America which is already consuming GMO foods, pressed for the introduction of the policy which he is sure will put good money into farmers’ pockets.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are food crops that have been engineered to increase yields, hardiness and resistance to herbicides. This genetic engineering creates plant, animal and natural bacterial food groups that do not occur in nature.
There is much controversy over the safety of Genetically Modified Organisms while scientists delve deeper to ascertain its health and environmental effects on human beings and other natural creations such as plants and animals.
Genetically Modified Organisms foods have been on the market since 1994 and research on their long-term effects on human beings is scarce.
China has one –fifth of the world’s population but just seven percent of the world’s arable land and food security is a national obsession. Pesticides and enhanced fertilizers no longer improve crop yields as markedly as they once did and staple crops such as rice may not grow as reliable in the temperature extremes brought on by climate change.
As a result, the government has begun to invest heavily in research on genetically modified crops by calling on domestic scientists to boldly research and innovate (LAND) to dominate the high points GMO techniques. The most recent five (5) year plan names biotechnology including enhanced agricultural.
Source: Prince Paul Amuzu and Austin Ofori Addo/ritefmonline.org