OFAB HOLDS 5TH ANNIVERSARY
5/10/2012 1:47:42 PM -
The Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) has held its fifth anniversary last Wednesday in Accra and called on member countries to work together to achieve greater yields in the agricultural sector.
The anniversary, which is held every five years, brings member countries together to deliberate on issues pertaining to the organization, as well as plan for the next five years.
Biotechnology has delivered substantial benefits to farmers around the world but Africa still lags behind in exploiting its potential partly due to the absence of an enabling environment for the development and use of agricultural biotechnology on the continent.
The initiative which was set up in 2006, aims at enhancing knowledge-sharing and awareness on biotechnology and contribute to building an enabling environment for decision making on agricultural biotechnology on the continent.
OFAB, which is an initiative of Africa Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) is currently being implemented in five Africa countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana.
Speaking at the anniversary's cocktail in Accra, the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Hon. Sherry Ayitey quoted from James, 2011 ISAA report, that, the global adoption of Genetic Modifies (GM) technologies in agriculture has seen phenomenal growth since its commercial introduction in 1996.
She said both the African Union Commission and the Regional Economic Communities and African Minister of Agriculture, Science and Technology have released various communiqué's over the years in support of the safe application of biotechnology.
The Minister indicated that Ghana has submitted to the National Bio-safety Committee for license to conduct the CFT on BT cowpea and nutrient enhanced protein sweet potato.
She added that only Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Senegal and Togo have Bio-safety Acts in place whiles Nigeria passed the Bio-safety Bill into law last June but yet to receive a presidential assent.
By : Iddrissu Abubakari Jara