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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – January 26, 2015

2015 January 26
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues

Ghana Cocoa Revenues and Expenditures on the Web
IFPRI in collaboration with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is making available information on revenues and expenditures in the cocoa sector on the web: (;jsessionid=68529307fd87839205537ae66402?globalId=doi:10.7910/DVN/27970&studyListingIndex=0_68529307fd87839205537ae66402) Information is now available for the period from 1996/97 to 2012/13.  This information will be updated annually. For information on budgetary processes and expenditures, please see:

ISSER/IFPRI Roundtable Discussion on Youth, Employment and Agriculture
The Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER) in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) held a roundtable discussion on the theme Youth, Employment and Agriculture, on January 22, 2015 at the ISSER conference centre, Accra. Academicians, researchers, students, policy makers and civil society deliberated on how Ghana can realize the prospects of agriculture by harnessing the youth participation in agriculture. Panelists addressed critical issues like the effectiveness of agriculture as a provider of employment for youth in the context of the dynamics of the Ghanaian labour market; the perceptions and aspirations of the youth from agriculture per se; the effectiveness of public interventions to address the demand and supply conditions for the engagement and employment of youth in agriculture …

French Company Establishes Cocoa Processing Factory in Ghana
Cocoa Touton Processing Company Limited (CTPC), a subsidiary of Touton S.A. of France has signed a bean supply agreement with Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to process cocoa beans locally. At a ceremony held at the Cocoa House in Accra, Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni, Chief Executive of COCOBOD was glad to welcome CTPC in the country with the hope that CTPC would help add more value to the produce, generate more employment and increase consumption of cocoa in Ghana and the West African Sub-region. He commended the Chief Executive of CTPC, Mr. Patrick de Boussac for his interest in the growth of the cocoa industry in Ghana that is touted as the backbone of Ghana’s economy. Dr. Opuni called on Touton S.A. to give off their best and pledged COCOBOD’s maximum support to enable them function as expected.

Children Can Work on the Farm Within Limits
Mr. Michael Gyasi, District Cocoa Officer, has said children under 18 years could perform varied tasks on cocoa farms, which are not hazardous to their health and wellbeing or hindrance to their education. Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview at Suhum in the Eastern Region, he explained that children between eight years and 12 years could undertake permissible light work on cocoa farms. Mr. Gyasi said this could involve taking care of babies and toddlers on the farm, helping in cooking and serving food, which are considered permissible light work. The District Cocoa Officer said children between 12 years and 15 years could also assist on the farm by filling nursery bags with black soil, planting cocoa seedlings, as well as fetching water for spraying. However, he said, all children must leave the farm before agro-chemical spraying was carried out.

Seed Regulatory Framework Review ended in Accra
A four-day workshop on the review of Ghana’s Seed Regulatory Framework in consonance with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Seed Regulation and Updating of National Quarantine Pest List ended on Thursday, January 22, 2015, in Accra. The workshop which brought together stakeholders and agricultural practitioners and seed policy experts from Ghana and some West African Countries was aimed at reviewing Ghana’s Seed Regulatory Framework to match with the ECOWAS regulation. The workshop was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development/West Africa Seed Program (USAID/WA), USAID-Agriculture Policy Support Project and West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program. Dr. Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, a Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in-charge of Crops, noted that despite the progress made over the last five years, Ghana’s seed systems still fell short of meeting the need of ensuring access and affordability of quality seeds to smallholder Ghanaian farmers.

Esoko Calls for Modernization of Ghana’s Agriculture
Esoko, a private company that provides information and communication services to farmers, has called for the modernization of Ghana’s agricultural sector to make it more vibrant and productive. Esoko Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Davis said Ghana was endowed with huge arable lands and human resources which could be tapped for the good of the nation and Africa. He said Ghana possessed large stretches of arable lands which were being cultivated in an old fashioned manner and as a result, the yields being recognized from many of the farms and small holdings were below global standards. “I think that there is no reason why we shouldn’t be meeting or exceeding anybody else’s standards; whether it is the Philippines or the United States,” Davis remarked in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra on the sideline of the launch of the Esoko’s Expert Network of agronomists.

Drought Triggers Insurance Payout In Sahel Ahead Of Humanitarian Aid
ARC Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd) will pay US $25 million in drought insurance claims to three countries in the Sahel this month. Mauritania, Niger and Senegal, which paid a combined premium of US $8 million, will use the payout to mobilize early interventions in response to drought; based on pre-approved contingency plans. The catastrophe insurance model was developed specifically for unique African climate issues by the African Risk Capacity (ARC), a Specialized Agency of the African Union, and its affiliated mutual insurance company, ARC Ltd. The inaugural pool was set up in 2014 to help Member States build resilience to extreme weather events and protect food insecure populations. Coverage for tropical cyclones and floods will be available in 2016.

Genetically Modified Organisms; the Dietitian’s Take (2)
Another genuine concern is high pesticide and herbicide residues in GM foods. This is due to the fact that some GM foods are designed to take on more pesticides and herbicides than usual (known as “roundup ready” crops) so that the farmers can kill off weeds and pests without harming their plants. Due to this resistance, these crops end up getting higher doses of these chemicals than their conventionally bred counterparts get. Transfer of antibiotic resistance is also listed as a side effect of GM foods. This occurs when antibiotic resistant genes from GM plants are transferred to gut bacteria in the human body, hence the potential to create bacteria strains that are resistant to antibiotics. Although this phenomenon is possible, the odds of this happening are low as researchers have pegged the probability to between 1:1012 and 1:1027. It is, however, still a concern worth noting.

Ghanaian Scientists Edge Up GM Rice Trials
Researchers in Ghana say they are recording favourable outcomes in the trials of genetically modified (GM) rice in the country. The confined field trials started in April 2013 at Nobewam in the Ashanti region, after receiving approval from the National Biosafety Committee (NBC). The fourth successive experiment of the Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) rice is being conducted by the Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Principal Investigator, Dr. Maxwell Asante, says the project has already identified a lead event which will give at least a 15 percent yield advantage over non-GM version of the planted rice….Biosafety advocate, Albert Aubyn, however says there is no cause for worry with the current trials, noting that field activities are strictly in conformity with regulative measures

Extravagant Funerals, Threat to Food Security in Upper East|
“As the Months of January and February approach my heart keeps beating. I know as usual my husband and the entire family would use the little food they harvested from the poor soils to perform funerals. I remember that last year during the performance of my husband‘s late father’s funeral I cautioned him to be careful about the use of food stuff and the animals including fowls for funeral performance otherwise our children would go hungry in the lean season. He never listened to me and went ahead to use all the food items for funerals. In fact that year our four children went hungry and I had to travel to the southern part of the country to do menial jobs in order to salvage the situation. This year again I have warned him but he wouldn’t listen. He tells me he would spend the little food we harvested on the funeral of his grandfather”. That was Mrs. Akolpoka Adongo narrating her plight.

Training Workshop for Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Staff on Risk Analysis Ends
Training workshop for staff of Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) on risk analysis ended at the weekend with a call on participants to impact the knowledge acquired to benefits society. The five-day training programme was aimed at enhancing market surveillance and inspections of facilities under the Trade Related and Quality Enabling Track (TRAQUE) programme financed by the European Union. The TRAQUE Programme is supporting the Ministry of Trade and Industry in trade facilitation and capacity building with special attention to private sector development, Economic Partnership Agreement and support to the National Quality Institutions. The contract for the project cost 239,000.00 euro. Mr. John Odame Darkwa, Deputy Chief Executive of FDA, said the project which started in April, 2014 would run for a period of 18 months and that over the past 10 months, the two main components of the project have been initiated.

Commission Demands Improved Work Efficiency
Dr. Edward Prah, Board Chairman of the Forestry Commission (FC), has called for improved work efficiency to save the nation’s forest and wildlife resources. He said the expectation was that the management and staff of the Commission would give it their all, to radically improve forest and wildlife management, regulation and development. This, he noted, would require the adoption of new work ethics and a change in attitude. Mr. Prah was speaking at his maiden meeting held with the workers at the Wood Industries Training Centre (WITC) at Akyawkrom in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality. It was used to introduce members of the reconstituted board and to discuss the way forward. Mr. Prah said the Board had set four priority areas, where it was going to focus its attention. These were plantation development, ecotourism, improvement of the Commission’s financial health and aiding the people to have better understanding of the benefits of properly regulated forestry.

Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA)’s Misspent Funds to be Retrieved with Interest
The Attorney General’s (AG) Department is working behind the scenes to retrieve with interest, funds meant for various projects of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) which were not executed. Mrs. Angelina Mornah Domakyaarah, SADA Board Chairperson, said the AG’s Department was negotiating with the various partners involved on the terms for the refund while the Bank of Ghana was now working out the interest rates due. In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), she assured Ghanaians that the new board would ensure openness and transparency in the activities of SADA. “We acknowledge as a new board that SADA has had some image problems in the past. We may call that failings; it is a human institution, but we the new board, having assessed the situation, acknowledge that even though there have been some failings, SADA has not failed,” she said.

Small Scale Rice Dealers Challenge Trade Ministry|
The Small Scale Rice Dealers Association of Ghana (SSRIDA-GH), on Thursday said the assertion by Ministry of Trade and Industry that the total ban of rice importation is detrimental to the state is not nationalistic. The media report attributed to Mr. Ibrahim Murtala, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry said Ghana’s rice self-sufficiency is about 30 per cent and government consider as a high priority to see the country productivity high. He, however, said a total ban on rice importation is not the ideal thing to do and would also be in violation of World Trade Organisation regulations. Mr. Murtala said the country must also improve the quality and quantity of rice production. The Minister reacted to a call by SSRIDA-GH to Ministry of Trade and Industry to ensure an outright ban of rice importation.

Step up Efforts at Protecting Forest Resources – Asantehene
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu the Second, has urged the Forestry Commission (FC), to scale up its efforts at protecting the forest and its resources. He said the Board and Management needed to strengthen their monitoring and supervision role to reduce the involvement of workers of the Commission in illegal activities that were destroying the forest. He accused some of the officers at the district and regional levels of deep involvement in illegal mining, and logging right inside the reserves and thwarting the efforts by government to safeguard the important natural resource. Otumfuo Osei Tutu made the call when he received the new Board and Management of the FC to his Manhyia Palace in Kumasi. The delegation was led by Mr. Edward Prah, the Board Chairman, and Mr. Samuel Afari Darteh, the Chief Executive Officer. They had called to introduce themselves to the Asantehene, and to seek his advice and support for various initiatives designed to re-generate degraded forest and protect reserves.

NDPC Schools Parliamentary Select Committee on Poverty Reduction
The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), has schooled members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Poverty Reduction, on President John Dramani Mahama’s Transformation Agenda. The President’s Transformation Agenda is christened: “Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies, 2014-2020”. The Parliamentarians were also schooled on the Second Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda (GSGDA Two), which covers the period 2014 to 2017, and is based on the Transformation Agenda. The two documents were submitted by President Mahama to Parliament in December 2014. The Director-General of NDPC, Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, explained that the 1992 Constitution requires every President to, within two years of assuming office, present a Coordinated Programme to Parliament as a guide to the country’s socio-economic development.

Determinants of Food Availability and Access in Ghana: What Can we Learn Beyond the Regression Results?
PK Adom - 2014
The study analyses the determinants of food availability and access, and the causes of unsustainable food access in Ghana using three models. Regression results show that the effects of energy price, domestic and foreign interest rates, domestic prices and exchange rate on food availability are negative, while the effects of crop yield, arable land, liberalization of agricultural trade and real income are positive. The analysis further shows the unique effects of energy price and human capital exceed their common effects. However, the common effects of domestic and foreign interest rates, inflation, crop yield, arable land, exchange rate, liberalization of agricultural trade and income exceed their unique effects. The access model shows that the effects of domestic interest rate, exchange rate and oil price are negative. The unique effect of oil price exceeds the variable’s common effect. However, the common effects of exchange rate, interest rate and income exceed their unique effects. The stability model shows that good news and higher incomes enhance sustainable food access….

 Emerging Agricultural Extension Approach among Local Ghanaian Farmers: Application of Paulo Frère’s Empowerment Education Model in Supervised Extension Projects
M Kwadzo - Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research …, 2014
Public sector agricultural extension approaches in Ghana have been criticized as being ineffective in developing farmers’ capabilities to deal with their production challenges instead of providing education that empowers and enables the marginalized to attain their full potential. This study aimed at exploring those attributes of Supervised Enterprise Projects, a community development tool, which has been used by agricultural students to educate and empower local farmers. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select three farmer-based organizations that benefited from the projects. Through focus group interviews the views of members of the farmer-based organizations were sought regarding the Supervised Enterprise Projects. The results of the study showed that farmers have positive views of the projects. The projects have helped to empower and develop the capabilities of the farmers to diagnose and identify their own agrarian problems and to create appropriate solutions…

Harnessing Indigenous Knowledge for Sustainable Forest Management in Ghana
M Sraku-Lartey - International Journal on Food System Dynamics, 2014
This paper makes a case for harnessing indigenous knowledge (IK) for sustainable national development in Ghana. IK according to the World Bank is the basic component of any country’s knowledge system and it is upon this knowledge that scientific research builds. In Ghana the Government has recognized the need to harness IK for sustainable national development and has therefore incorporated it into the National Science, Technology and Innovation Development Programme. But there is no evidence however that scientific research in Ghana actually takes IK into consideration during the research process. This paper discusses the concept of indigenous knowledge, its relevance in scientific discourse and the need for harnessing it for national development in Ghana. A desk study was conducted using journal publications, research and technical reports, online databases and the internet. About sixty articles…

The Role of Sukuk Financing for Sustainable Development of Smallholder Farmers
S Soeleman, SD Lestari - Australasian Accounting, Business and Finance …, 2015
The greatest advance made by mankind was probably the agricultural revolution that has been developed into agricultural development along with population growth in the forms of agricultural expansion and agricultural intensification. The global land grab driven by the acquisition of land has caused radical changes in the use and ownership of land and has important implications for equitable and sustainable development in which local people have been moved to marginal locations. To ensure that the agricultural activities are sustained, a balance of three concepts of people, planet, and profit (3P) are critical to achieve long term social, environmental, and economic issues. One of recently popular instruments to fairly treat the people is an equity based Sukuk in which profit will be shared based on pre-agreed ratio between the investors and the people involved. In term of conservation of planet,…

Small and Medium Bamboo and Rattan Enterprises in Economic Empowerment in Kumasi: Perspectives of Producers
B Effah, E Boampong, O Asibey, NA Pongo, A Nkrumah - Journal of Social Economics, 2014|
In an increasingly business-oriented, cash-based city like Kumasi, people need access to cash income so as to maintain their businesses and families. Kumasi as the commercial hub of Ghana can boast of a number of scattered bamboo/rattan products producers. The employment dynamism of the bamboo/rattan Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is very high and can lead to substantial poverty reduction to enhance the economic capacities of the craftsmen involved in the business. The objective of the study was to assess the economic potential of small and medium bamboo/rattan enterprises in terms of contributions to livelihood incomes and alleviating poverty of bamboo and rattan craftsmen in the Kumasi metropolis. A survey design approach was adopted, based on a purposive and snowball sampling techniques. A final sample of thirty-one participated in the study. Primary data were obtained…

Refusal to Enroll in Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme: Is Affordability the Problem?
A Kusi, U Enemark, KS Hansen, FA Asante - International Journal for Equity in Health, 2015
Access to health insurance is expected to have positive effect in improving access to healthcare and offer financial risk protection to households. Ghana began the implementation of a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in 2004 as a way to ensure equitable access to basic healthcare for all residents. After a decade of its implementation, national coverage is just about 34% of the national population. Affordability of the NHIS contribution is often cited by households as a major barrier to enrolment in the NHIS without any rigorous analysis of this claim. In light of the global interest in achieving universal health insurance coverage, this study seeks to examine the extent to which affordability of the NHIS contribution is a barrier to full insurance for households and a burden on their resources. The study uses data from a cross-sectional household survey involving 2,430 households from three districts in Ghana conducted between January-April, 2011. Affordability of the NHIS contribution is analysed using the household budget-based approach based on the normative definition of affordability….

Bread and Freedom: Linking Democracy and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa|
K HARRIS - African Studies Quarterly, 2014
This article looks at the effect of politics on food security in thirty-eight Sub-Saharan African nations since 1990. In so doing, it helps clarify the causal mechanisms through which democracy impacts hunger. In contrast to previous empirical research where democracy is often treated as one-dimensional, this study incorporates multiple measures of democracy and freedom. The cross-national statistical analysis uses data from the Global Hunger Index of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), as well as data on democracy and civil liberties from a variety of extant sources. The article finds that while variables measuring the procedural and institutional elements of democracy are not connected to levels of hunger in Africa, the protection of civil liberties is moderately associated with improved food security. This conclusion is borne out by a brief case study of Ghana, whose democratic…

Understanding the Livelihoods of Women in the Local Foodscape: a Case Study of Accra, Ghana.
L Johnson - 2015
As rapid urbanization persists throughout the majority of today’s large cities, concern over access to sufficient foodstuffs, employment and basic resources within urban areas has also grown. Governments and non-governmental actors have already begun to recognize the need for attention on urban development initiatives to meet the needs of growing populations in cities due, in part, to rural-urban migration. An increase of low-income and urban poor populations experience first-hand some of the growing pressures in acquiring sufficient and healthy food and livelihoods in today’s largest cities. Rapid food price increases in 2007-2008 brought significant attention to a contemporary food crisis and focused policy change heavily on fixing the bottlenecks of rural food production and global food imports, while discounting the opportunities in improving urban food security initiatives. With over half of the world’s…

Ghana Agricultural News Digest – January 12, 2015

2015 January 12
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
Ghana cocoa revenues and expenditures on the web
IFPRI in collaboration with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is making available information on revenues and expenditures in the cocoa sector on the web: (;jsessionid=68529307fd87839205537ae66402?globalId=doi:10.7910/DVN/27970&studyListingIndex=0_68529307fd87839205537ae66402) Information is now available for the period from 1996/97 to 2012/13.  This information will be updated annually. For information on budgetary processes and expenditures, please see:

Improve Local Rice to Reduce Imports; MoFA Urged
Ghanaian rice farmers have called on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to find ways to improve quality of local rice to encourage and ensure its consumption and reduce the import of the cereal in to the country. Yahaya Nuhum, a rice farmer, in an interview with Times Business on the sidelines of the Local Rice Bazaar held yesterday argued that improved local rice would encourage more consumption and encourage farmers to cultivate more. “A boost in production and improvement in the packaging of the local rice would encourage increase domestic patronage, thereby reducing the importation of rice,” he said


Ghana Agricultural News Digest – January 5, 2015

2015 January 5
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
Ghanaian Vegetables Meet International Standards
Vegetable farmers in Ghana producing for export and export companies are increasingly complying with quality and safety standards in line with international market requirements, a study by GhanaVeg has confirmed. The study dubbed: “GhanaVeg Vegetable Business Opportunities in Ghana: 2014”, says this could be used as a good example for the domestic market. GhanaVeg is an initiative of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in line with efforts towards prioritizing commercial agriculture. The study report was recently presented to the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr. Fiifi Kwetey, in Accra, by the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Hans Docter. The GhanaVeg report recommends that farmers would have to deal with pesticides in a more responsible manner, making use of the Integrated Pest Management and Good Agriculture Practices (GAP).

Farmers Accuse COCOBOD Officials of Corruption
Cocoa farmers in the Wassa Amenfi West District of the Western Region are accusing some officers of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) of massive corruption in the distribution of fertilizer to farmers. They are alleging that some COCOBOD officials charged each farmer GHC 100  as a prerequisite to getting  fertilizer. Some of the farmers who spoke to Citi News claimed they were made to pay the amount but they are yet to be supplied with the fertilizer. “They took GHC 100 each from us with the explanation that the COCOBOD authorities will come and supply us with the fertilizers,” an angry farmer told Citi News. She continued saying, “since we paid the money, we have not heard anything from them up till now and so we are very upset.”


Ghana Agricultural News Digest – December 22, 2014

2014 December 22
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Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
President Announces 450-million-dollar Package for Cocoa Roads Rehabilitation
President John Dramani Mahama has announced a 450-million-dollar package for the rehabilitation of roads in cocoa-growing areas in the country. He said, the amount, to be released in three installments of 150 million dollars annually, would be used to finance selected roads in the Ashanti, Western, Eastern and Brong-Ahafo Regions, under the Cocoa Roads Rehabilitation Project being funded through the Ghana COCOBOD. President Mahama made the announcement at a grand durbar to climax the Dormaa Kwafie Festival and the 15th joint anniversary celebration of the enstoolment of Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Agyemang Badu the Second, and Odeneho Akosua Fima Dwabeng the Second, as Paramount Chief and Queen respectively of the Dormaa Traditional Area,  at Dormaa-Ahenkro. The Kwafie biennial festival was last celebrated by the chiefs and people of Dormaa in 2002,  and it is an occasion to bring….

2,500 Farmers Benefit from SARI
More than 2,500 farmers in the Northern and Upper West Regions benefited from the activities of the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) between 2013 and 2014. Dr Stephen Kwasi Nutsugah, Director of SARI announced this at Nyankpala at the opening of a four-day completion workshop of ENRACCA-WA project under the auspices of the West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) and hosted by Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-SARI. The programme brought together participants from Ghana, Senegal and Burkina-Faso. Dr Nutsugah said CSIR-SARI had been a beneficiary of four major CORAF/WECARD projects in the Northern Region since 2011 including the research programme on Climate Change, Agriculture for food security for ENRACCA-WA project, which helped in the improvement of lives.


Ghana Agricultural News Digest – December 15, 2014

2014 December 15
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
Symposium for GMOs Adoption in Accra
A policy symposium on the need to collate views to push forward the adoption of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) by Ghana was held in Accra on Wednesday. The symposium was on the theme; “Accepting or Not Accepting GMOs; implications for sustainable food production in Ghana.” Organized by Developing Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa, ISSER, DFID, Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Association of Commonwealth Universities and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, (MOFA). It attracted scientists, research analysts in the area of food and agriculture. The symposium which was meant to discuss issues both for and against GMO saw only majority of participants who are in support of GMO taking part. Dr Hans Adu Dapaah, Former Director Crops Research Institute (CRI) said there is no credible evidence that GM foods are more harmful than non-GM foods.

Ghana Develops GM cowpea
Ghana has successfully developed a genetically modified cowpea (beans), referred to as Bt cowpea. Developed by the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) at Nyankpala in the Northern Region, the Bt cowpea will be the first GM crop/food to be introduced in Ghana. It is resistant to the Maruca pod borer, an insect/pest that destroys the conventional type of cowpea, the 'Songotra ' thereby causing farmers to lose substantial portions of their investment/income. SARI, which is implementing the Bt cowpea project in the country, is to embark on the multiplication of the seeds of the Bt cowpea in commercial quantities next year for distribution to farmers for planting in the three northern regions.