Scientist calls for passage of the “Plant Breeders’ Bill”

The Rev Dr Hans Adu Dapaah, Director of the Crops Research Institute (CRI), has urged parliament to speed up the passage of the Plant Breeders’ Bill.

This, he said, was necessary to enable the country to register and obtain full ownership of its developed crop and plant varieties.

Rev Dr Dapaah said this at a meeting held with the Minister of Environment Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Mr Akwasi Opong-Fosu, when he paid a working visit to the Institute.

He said the nation stood the risk of losing title to the numerous crop and plant varieties, developed and propagated by the Institute, to its francophone neighbours which already have the law in place.

The Rev Dr Dapaah said because of the harmonization regime in the development and release of crop and plant varieties among countries in the sub-region, any of them could adopt and register any of the varieties developed by Ghana as its own.

If that happened, all the years of work and achievements made by the research scientists would come to nothing.

The Rev Dr Dapaah said new crop and plant varieties released were developed through the use of local materials, adding that the nation “has all it takes to develop good and internationally recognized crop varieties”.

Mr Opong-Fosu inspected facilities at the West Africa Biotechnology Laboratory, which has been designated a specialized centre for the development of new technologies for root and tuber crops in the sub-region.

He also visited demonstration farms where newly-developed crop varieties had been planted.

Dr Mrs Stella Ennin, Deputy Director of the Institute, briefed the Minister on its activities and said there was the need for radical shift from the traditional way of farming to the knowledge-based agricultural practices to increase food production.

She said agricultural mechanization and massive fertilizer application were the surest way to achieve food security. GNA

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