Business News of 2014-05-18

Northern farmers stage protest against GMOs

The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) yesterday staged a demonstration in Tamale to express their disapproval with the introduction of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in the country.

The farmers, numbering over 500, marched through some principal streets of the metropolis and finally ended at the Regional Co-ordinating Council, where they presented a petition to the Regional Minister.

They carried placards some of which read, “away with GMOs”; “do not damage famers’ livelihoods”; and “GMO is a killer.”

The exercise brought together farmers from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions. They were supported by Actionaid, and the Centre for Indigenous knowledge and Organizational Development, both non- governmental organisations.

The president of the PFAG, Nashiru Adam, explained that the introduction of GMO seeds would worsen the plight of farmers by enslaving them to large corporations that were into seed breeding.

According to him, “farmers do not need genetically modified seeds but rather good roads, infrastructure, efficient irrigation and marketing systems.”

He, therefore, appealed to Parliament to throw out the Plant Breeders Bill and support local research institutions to come up with indigenous knowledge to protect the nation from what he termed as “neo-colonialist agenda.’

The Northern Regional Co-ordinating Director, Mr Alhassan Issahaku, who received the petition on behalf of the regional minister, promised to forward their concerns to the appropriate authorities. He commended the farmers for the peaceful manner in which they expressed their grievances.