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).
It requires better access to food and widespread promotion of sustainable agriculture which would entail improving the productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers by promoting equal access to land, technology and markets, sustainable food production systems and resilient agricultural practices.
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.“I am here to share this lectures they are given us and my stand is that I support GMOs,” Mr Mohammed Adam Nashiru, Former National Union of Smallholder Farmers told peasant farmers and agriculture officers in Wa.“I have changed my mind for good reasons,” he added: “It is only a fool who doesn’t change his mind”.
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.However, performance of agriculture in Ghana declined from 51 per cent to 36 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, with the rural poor now accounting for about three-quarters of the people living below the poverty line.
Ghana’s research institutions and the government are making efforts to ensure that the country progressed in agriculture.“When this whole thing started, the politicians were talking and other experts were talking, so we as farmers were confused as to which way to follow.
The Nadowli-Kaleo District Director of Agriculture, Mr Cephas Eremon, told the Ghana News Agency that: “From the onset we had negative perception about GMO,” and called on farmers to embrace the new technology to ensure food security.A multiple crop farmer Paulina Yirimambo said farmers did not know where to get improved seeds but now, “We’ve heard a lot on how we will get improved seeds that will increase our yields, we didn’t know we have to use improved seeds to get a good yield”.
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.