Minister designate in charge of food and agriculture, Afriyie Akoto, has debunked claims that he is in full support of Genetically Modified Organic Foods in Ghana.
In what seems to be a fierce vetting, Afriyie Akoto, "saved" his nomination by arguing that all he had called for was the use of improved seeds developed by Ghanaian scientists to enhance crop production and earn farmers more income.
“I think this whole thing is misplaced. The science which exists, and which has produced these 40 different improved varieties for our farmers of maize, rice and others, we have hardly used it. Only 11% of maize farmers are using improved seeds.
There rest are using local varieties which is getting them nowhere. The task really is to ensure that the bulk of farmers adopt these improved seeds, get them fertilizers and extension so that our production can take off. It is not to bring some GMO into this country,” Dr Afriyie Akoto said. Whoever says I am promoting GMO is not correct.
I believe in Ghanaian scientists, Ghanaian scientists have done well. This ‘obaatampa’ [breed] is all over West Africa… All these other improved seeds that our research have been putting their backs to the wheel will earn scientists in this country some money in the future and not some GMO which is not going to benefit anybody,” Dr Afriyie Akoto said.
Calls have been made for the Agric minister designate to denounce his nomination after civili society groups like Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) argue that the minister designate's stance on GMOs was detrimental to the growth and safety of Ghana's agric sector.