Peasant farmers in Upper West have called for adoption of genetically modified organism (GMOs) seeds and animal breeds to guarantee genetic diversity of food crops and increase production levels to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The farmers made the call after a training programme on benefits of new technologies including; GMOs which aims to ensure food security and raise household income of farm workers who constitute about 90 per cent of Ghana’s agricultural workforce.
Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) Ghana Chapter organised the training for local farmers, Agriculture Extension Officers and Municipal and District Directors of Agriculture in the Upper West Region.
It was meant to create awareness on biotechnology and genetically modified organisms in Ghana, a project being hosted by Ghana’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
Former National Union of Smallholder Farmers, Mohammed Adam Nashiru, told peasant farmers and agriculture officers in Wa, that he preached against GMOs, but now he is in support of GMOs”.
Adam Nashiru dismissed claims by critics that GMO crops and breeds were harmful to human health and would impoverish local farmers and noted that food production in Ghana was unacceptably low and if the trend continued Ghana might not be able to achieve the SDG2.
He blamed the low production on lack of modern technology and improved breeds to help local farmers to engage in large scale farming to produce more for local consumption and exports.
The farmers called on government to expedite action on the adoption of GMOs to help local growers to get the seeds in the certified local market dealers to stimulate mass production and achieve the SDG two.
National Coordinator of OFAB Ghana, Dr Richard Ampadu-Ameyaw, told the farmers that GMOs were to boost farm yields, cut pesticide use, and decrease farm labour and increase nutritional value and would improve incomes of farmers, enhance their welfare and reposition Ghana’s agriculture.