The Ghana GMO Debate
Answering the question of how to farm most effectively in Ghana is proving to be quite complicated. Although there’s more to the African agricultural dilemma than a cut and dried GMO vs. non-GMO debate, it certainly plays a large role. Pro-GMO advocates claim Africa currently holds high levels of poverty, malnutrition, and hunger, coupled with a low level of agricultural productivity. They feel GM technology is the answer. Yet, many in Africa, including Ghanians, still resist GMOs as a solution, for a variety of reasons. In fact, they’ve been fighting the biotech industry and even The Gates Foundation for the past few years.
Aside from the health and environmental issues surrounding GMOs, Ghanians are concerned over the socio-economic impact.
Increasing the penetration of transnational corporations into Ghana’s agriculture decreases profit margins for small local farmers. Ghanaian agriculture cannot afford an economy that is designed for the benefit of external interests at the expense of Ghanaians.
And the fact that a significant number of international markets are leery of importing GMOs makes Ghanians less willing to grow them.
“The potential economic harm would be incalculable if Ghana were to be labelled a GMO haven exporting GM crops to the world,” the Chief Executive Officer of the GEPA, Mr Gideon Qaurcoo, said in a statement published in the Daily Graphic. The report explained that in view of overwhelming evidence from the EU and Western world’s attitude to GM foods, it would be detrimental for Ghana to introduce GMOs into its crop production as many products would stand the risk of being rejected by important export markets thus hugely damaging Ghana’s economy.
The market for organic and non-GMO verified food continues to grow in the U.S. and other parts of the world. The question is — which markets will the Ghanians export to in the future?
So the GMO debate in Ghana continues…
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