N/R: Aggregators oppose Ghana’s embrace of biotechnology in agriculture

  Mon, 08 Apr 2024
Regional News NR: Aggregators oppose Ghanas embrace of biotechnology in agriculture

A group of Aggregators in Northern Ghana has raised concerns regarding Ghana’s recent approval of genetically modified (GM) products across various sectors, emphasizing the potential long-term effects on human health and the environment.

They argue that the safety of GM foods has not been definitively established, with fears of unforeseen consequences on biodiversity and the ecosystem.

Fredrick Saah, a member of the Aggregators Association in the Northern Region and CEO of Agrofredina, voiced his apprehension in an interview with Citi News.

Mr. Saah emphasized the artificial nature of GMO seeds, expressing concerns over the control and distribution of these seeds.

He highlighted the restrictions on saved seeds under GM agriculture, noting the financial burden it would impose on farmers, particularly in the Northern sector where resources for traditional farming practices are already scarce.

“Because GMO shots is an artificial product which is going to be formulated through the lab. And so they are going to control the seeds. You cannot grow GMO and after harvest, you can even plant the seed again, it’s not possible. So every day someone has to give you your seed that you grow so it’s no, no, no, it’s not acceptable.

“It’s going to affect us because when it comes to especially the Northern sector, a lot of farmers are vulnerable that they don’t have funds to even do our local practice; traditional farming and you are talking about GMO, it’s quite expensive.

So what is going to happen is that we are just going to put these in our systems by saying we are giving your support, a farmer who is going to plant GMO, we are going to give you the seed, sometimes even for free and they will make sure they plant it because GMO, it needs a critical look like you have to monitor the plant and everything.”

The group also questioned the control and ownership of GM seeds, expressing fears that smallholder farmers and traditional practices could be negatively impacted.

They raised concerns about the potential consolidation of power among large corporations, potentially marginalizing small-scale farmers and exacerbating sector inequalities.

In light of these concerns, the group called on the government to adopt a cautious and inclusive approach, prioritizing thorough risk assessments, independent research, and ongoing monitoring of GM products.

Expressing discontent with the lack of consultation before the approval of GM products, they vowed to resist the introduction of GM seeds to the market through their actions.

“They did not even involve us, all we heard was they’ve passed the law. They have approved the TMOC. so what we are also going to show them is that we are the farmers, we produce the food, we are not going to accept it, we’ll ensure that the government or whoever that will bring the GMO seed to post-harvest season or this farming season to introduce them to the market, we are going to stop them with our own force.”