The Abibiman foundation, a livelihood and development organisation, on Friday called for the extension and expansion of the consultation on the Plant Breeders Bill to make it more acceptable.
“In matters of food security and sovereignty, all actors and majority of Ghanaians should be well consulted. Farmers should also be well educated on the subject before an attempt is made to put ownership on seeds.
Mr Kenneth Nana Boateng, Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, made the suggestion In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tema.,
He said “we could be on the verge of re-colonization because if the breeding of the basic unit of agriculture which is the seed is held in the hands of a few people then the future will become bleak for majority of our farmers who are into subsistence farming,” adding that, there are so many other concerns which must be looked into.
According to him, the poor farmer would eventually surrender to the powerful breeders and throw his destiny into their “disguised quick sands of profit and control”.
“The seed is the only guarantee of the farmer’s survival because when the storms and the drought take away everything, he knows that he has something stored within his reach to start the life cycle again but if he loses control over this right then he has indeed lost his soul.”
Mr Boateng said the bill could also become a conduit for the rationalization and legitimization of Genetically Modified foods in Ghana.
“As far as we know, without local intellectual and scientific knowledge in some of these things, one cannot be sure of their safety and propriety. If we lack the capacity to verify the safety or otherwise of something then we should just avoid it for now.”
He called for a Seed Bank that would store indigenous seeds and at the same time screen any seed that comes into the country to protect the authenticity of local seeds.
On the question of the low capacity of Ghanaian farmers to ensure food security, he said the issue is about channelling resources at the right time to these farmers, and that, local seeds are viable and authentic. GNA