Promote agroecology not GMOs – ActionAid urges government

April 30, 2024
agroecology
ActionAid calls on government to promote agroecology not GMOs

Ghana (AAG) has called on the government to promote agroecology among farmers in Ghana rather than promoting Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), which could disadvantage smallholder farmers.

It said the promotion of agroecology could enhance indigenous knowledge practices in agriculture and empowerment of smallholder farmers, particularly women.

ActionAid Ghana made the call in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Wa following the approval of 14 GM products by the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) for processing food and feed.

It indicated that women smallholder farmers played a critical role in food production stressing the need for the government to create an enabling environment for their meaningful participation and leadership in the sector.

“By embracing agroecological principles, Ghana can build resilient and sustainable food systems that prioritise the well-being of its citizens and safeguard the livelihoods of smallholder farmers,” the statement explained.

It urged the government to allocate funds to the to ensure adequate support for agroecological practices, training and knowledge-sharing among smallholder farmers.

ActionAid reaffirmed its stance against the proliferation of GM foods in solidarity with smallholder farmers, who were disproportionately affected by the adverse impacts of industrial agriculture.

As a leading social justice organisation with a focus on advocating for sustainable practices, AAG was concerned about the ramifications of the approval for the commercialisation of the 14 GM foods in Ghana.

“We believe that the recent decision to lift restrictions on GMOs poses significant risks to , biodiversity, and the well-being of vulnerable communities, “the statement said.

It observed that with the current economic challenges widening the poverty gap, the government should proritise agroecology as a sustainable farming approach and cease the commercialisation of GMOs in food production.

The statement said agroecology could “guarantee meeting local food security needs, reduce deforestation, limit land grabs, support livelihoods, and contribute to Ghana's economic growth”.

The statement said the decision of the government to lift GMO restrictions lacked proper consultation, denying Ghanaians the right to voice their opinions on what they consumed.

It entreated the government to prioritise the precautionary principle and halt the commercialisation of GMOs in the country until thorough research on the effects on human life and public consultations were conducted.

It reiterated that food was a basic human right, and any decision affecting it must involve transparent public consultation in alignment with the position of Ghana's constitution, the statement said.

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