Civil Society Group Food Sovereignty Ghana, (FSG) is backing calls for a national dialogue on the acceptance or otherwise of Genetically Modified Organisms in Ghana.
Mr. Kweku Andoh Baffour’s call comes in the wake of several calls for a national dialogue by the chairman of the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana, NFFAWAG, Davies Narh Korboe, on various platforms and mediums.
Communications Director of food Sovereignty Ghana, Mr. Kweku Andoh Baffour while backing the call for a national dialogue in an interview with Rite news on Monday, October 1st 2018 asserted that the call by the chairman of NFFAWAG to discuss the issue was long overdue.
“There must be a national dialogue, we believe that there should have been a national dialogue long before we had to go to court to say “stop the release of cowpeas,”” he said in an interview adding that such a dialogue should involve both sides of the GMO debate and be national in character to offer the public the opportunity to make informed decisions for themselves.
Celebrated Ghanaian farmer and 2009 national best farmer, Davies Narh Korboe who has widely expressed his love for GMO has persistently called for a national dialogue on the acceptance or otherwise of GMO technology in Ghana.
Farmer Davies, as he’s known maintains that the technology, though widely despised in the country, is already in the country anyway and can help boost food production if adopted.
Ghana’s 2009 national best farmer, a staunch advocate of the food production technology who has seized every opportunity to preach what he says are the virtues of GMOs, has urged farmers to adopt the technology as a means to enhance food security and sustainability.
He is known for his staunch advocacy for GMOs and has a message for those advocating against its adoption: GMOs are safe.
But Mr. Andoh Baffuor while maintaining the group’s opposition to the technology however opined that the composition of stakeholders to be involved in the dialogue must include civil society organizations to express their positions on the issue.
Recounting earlier debates on GMOs, the Communications Director said the listening public were not convinced that GMOs are good for consumption. “We have had debates with members of the scientific community such as the CSIR and other institutions who are behind the production of GMO, up till now there have been about four debates where we have been present,” he said.
The Food Sovereignty Spokesman in reaffirming the group’s objection to the adoption of the technology was convinced that a national dialogue was in the right direction and worth considering to bring to closure all controversy on the matter.
He was convinced that opening the discussion further for the consuming public will empower Ghanaians into making informed decisions for themselves on the consumption of GMO foods.
The Ghanaian farmer is currently challenged by a multiplicity of factors including post-harvest losses, lack of storage facilities such as warehouses, bad road networks to market centers, irrigation, and access to fertilizer among other difficulties.
Mr. Andoh Baffuor said adopting GMOs therefore will not in anyway assist the local farmer in addressing these challenges.
Food sovereignty has been one of the most critical voices against the introduction of the GMO technology into the country
The Group earlier in 2017 in suing government over plans to commercialize Genetically Modified Foods in the country sought declarations on whether required processes and laws had been adhered to in plans to commercialize GMOs.
Food Sovereignty Ghana also called for the disqualification of Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto based on his position on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
The group argued that allowing Dr. Afriyie Akoto to become the Agric Minister would be a slap in the face of campaigners against gmos, following his comments on the controversial Plant Breeders Bill in 2014, which were in favour of giving enough room for the advancement of genetically modified foods in Ghana.