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Soya Value Chain Association of Ghana opposes GMO Soybean cultivation

By Beyonce Diamond Kpogli II Contributor
Agriculture Soya Value Chain Association of Ghana opposes GMO Soybean cultivation
SUN, 02 JUN 2024 LISTEN

The Soya Value Chain Association of Ghana (SVCAG) has voiced strong opposition to the cultivation of GMO soybean seeds, asserting that Ghana would not benefit from such a move.

During a press briefing in Accra, Thomas W. Bello, Chairman of SVCAG, detailed several concerns regarding the potential impact of GMO soybeans on the Ghanaian economy and agricultural sector.

Mr. Bello highlighted that adopting GMO soybean seeds would lead to the loss of Ghana’s non-GMO soybean niche market and the potential collapse of the domestic market, driven by consumer preference for non-GMO soybeans.

This shift could push smallholder farmers out of business, increase unemployment, and undermine Ghana's food sovereignty and security. Additionally, he warned that Ghana would become less competitive in the global market if it lost its non-GMO status.

According to SVCAG, the traits and advantages of GMO soybeans-such as tolerance to glyphosate, resistance to Lepidoptera, decreased fatty acids, and tolerance to dicamba—are not pertinent to the challenges faced by Ghanaian farmers. Instead, the association emphasized the need for improvements in land preparation, irrigation, mechanization, access to finance, inputs, and services, as well as warehousing.

Mr.Bello referenced research indicating that GMO soybean yields in Ghana would be 20% lower or more than those of non-GMO varieties. This assertion underscores the association's stance that GMO soybeans do not offer a viable solution for increasing agricultural productivity in Ghana.

The SVCAG, along with other stakeholders, previously petitioned the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ministry of Trade and Industry to protect and maintain Ghana's non-GMO soybean production.

This call to action was reiterated in response to a publication by the United States Department of Agriculture on the Global Agriculture Information Network, which reported on the steps being taken by the Ghanaian government to commercialize GMO soybean seeds.

SVCAG expressed grave concerns about the potential socioeconomic impacts of GMO soybeans, particularly for the Northern regions of Ghana, where the soybean value chain is a significant source of livelihood.

The association therefore called on the Chief of Staff and the Minister of Food and Agriculture to work with the Parliament of Ghana to enact laws to safeguard the non-GMO soybean value chain and preventing the commercialization of GMO soybeans in the country.

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