On this auspicious day of National Farmers Day, Agriculture Sovereignty Ghana (ASG) wishes to extend our solidarity to indigenous and small holder farmers who are in the forefront of the production of agricultural produce for our country. They produce the majority of our food and provide the nutrition needed for our population.
This year’s National Farmers Day is observed at a time when Parliament has passed the Bio-safety Act 831, 2011; which encourages the introduction of genetically modified seeds into our agriculture. GMO seeds do not produce more food. It is a vehicle for the introduction of Intellectual Property Rights over seed or the transfer of ownership of seed to foreign seed companies and their Ghanaian Agents. This will make our farmers poor since they will be forced to buy far more expensive seeds from profit oriented seed companies. Likewise, the passage of the Plant Breeders Bill, currently before Parliament, will only encourage bio-piracy which will allow foreigners to modify our local seeds, register them as their own invention and then turn to force our farmers to rely on these seeds at cut throat prices. The Plant Breeders Bill does not recognize the ingenuity and the fact that local farmers are also plant breeders and have helped in the sustenance and conservation of indigenous species.
In Ghana, the foreign investors whom the government and local elite trumpet as the saviours of our national economy are involved in massive land grabs which the mono-agriculture is based and the exploitation of our resources; leaving in its wake the destruction of the environment and the obliteration of livelihoods of farmers.
The deficit in the housing stock as well as the lack of democratic control over land and housing has led to a situation in which farmers and their families have their settlements and shelters demolished to give way to mining, industrial agriculture which will not eliminate hunger.
Agriculture Sovereignty Ghana (ASG) salutes all small holder farmers on Farmers Day and pledges full support to them we call on the government to concentrate on resolving the problems faced by the small holder farmers of Ghana rather than on Genetically Modified Agriculture and the promotion of the Plant Breeders Bill which will destroy agriculture in Ghana further.[SIGNED] Yaw Opoku
Agriculture Sovereignty Ghana