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08.10.2004 General News

African countries urged to say no to GMOs

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Kumasi, Oct 08, GNA - Participants at an international workshop on ecofarming have called on African countries to say no to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) that destroy livelihoods and biodiversity on the continent.

They said Africans were being forced indirectly to accept GMOs, which was the main cause of genetic erosion and loss of biodiversity on the continent.

These were contained in a declaration adopted at the end of a two-week workshop in Kumasi on Thursday.

The workshop, which was organised by the Network for Ecofarming in Africa (NECOFA), an NGO, was under the theme, "Promotion of Ecofarming for Food Security, protection of Natural Resources, Health and Income-Generation".

Participants from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, Benin, Sudan and Malawi, attended the workshop which was sponsored by the German Government, the Centre for Food, Rural Development and the Environment (ZEL) of the German Foundation for International Development (DSE).

The participants called for a stop to the deliberate neutralisation of African cultural identity by recognising Africans as certifying bodies of organic produce.

They also called for the rural poor to be given the right to participate actively in all issues concerning development and policy formulation.

Addressing the closing ceremony, Mr Maxwell Kofi Jumah, Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, said the introduction of agro chemicals had led to the neglect of basic African traditional farming practices. He said there was therefore the need to encourage the reintroduction of ecofarming efficiently in order to achieve food security on the Africa continent.

Mr Jumah appealed to the participants to use the knowledge acquired to promote ecofarming in their respective countries. Mrs Philomena Boakye Appiah, acting Ashanti Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urged the participants to lobby and advocate for policies that would enhance the promotion of ecofarming in their respective countries.

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