Dr. Ampadu-Ameyaw

A Research Scientist, Dr. Richard Ampadu-Ameyaw, has indicated that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have played major roles in addressing challenges in the agricultural sector.

According to him, commercialising GMOs will help address the rising food prices, growing food import bill and the impact of climate change.

Speaking at a training for journalists on GMOs, Dr. Ampadu-Ameyaw urged journalists to help propagate the benefits of adopting biotechnology.

“GMO has a future in Ghana. In the sense that if you look at statistics of countries growing GMOs, they are similar to what Ghanaian scientists are discovering.”

“Also, looking at the benefits, GMOs promise to give such as resolving the issues of poverty, malnutrition, hunger, income issues of farmers. We believe low productivity can also be addressed with GMOs. However, we would not say it’s the panacea but it is contributing to resolving the issues in the sector,” he said.

The Alliance for Science in partnership with the Ghana Agricultural Rural Development Journalists Association, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture organised a workshop to educate journalists on genetically modified organisms and other forms of biotechnologies.

Plant breeder with the CSIR Savannah Agricultural Research Institute, Dr. Richard Oteng-Frimpong lectured the journalists on the basics of GMOs and its importance to the agricultural sector.

“The technology is one of the tools in the toolbox of a plant breeder. It allows the breeder to access a host of beneficial traits to help overcome the barrier imposed by sexuality. So we’re able to access genome in other organisms that are not available to us naturally,” he explained.

Executive Member of the Alliance for Science, Reuben Quainoo explained the rationale behind organizing a workshop for journalists on biotechnology.

“This workshop looked at a few of the crops scientists we are working on; BT Cowpea and the NEWEST Rice. Also we wanted to bring journalists together to educate and teach them what is going on in the labs and how they can better report it. The truth of the matter is that reports on GMOs are very scanty and we want to clear bad perceptions about GMOs,” he stated.

About 30 media practitioners from across the country participated in the training.