The Dean of the School of Agriculture at the University of Ghana, Professor Irene Egyir has advised farmers to run their farms as a business and choose seeds or agriculture practices that would increase yield.
Speaking at an event named third Movers Connect: Let’s talk seeds, organized by Ghana Food Movement, she emphasized that the industry cannot avoid modernization in a changing world.
“What kind of seed is important? That’s why I have said that for some of my farms, if I get the original seed and it will produce the yields, I will trade in it. Same goes with the conventional seed or the exotic seed. We should note that in everything, there are tradeoffs”.
She stated that there is the need for farmers to learn to manage situations and use modules to minimize toxicity.
“We cannot cut off modern agriculture just because of health. We are eight billion in the world, 30 million in Ghana, we need to explore ways of always getting food on the market at affordable prices,” she said.
A patent expert, Emmanuel Sackey reiterated the significance of the Plant Variety Protection in encouraging modernized agriculture in Ghana.
He observed that in order to feed the population farmers must be supported with improved varieties to be able to take care of the population.
“Sometimes there’s a lot of confusion about GMOs and the transgenic plants and whether what we are growing to eat is harmful to us or not. But we believe that scientific interventions in the form of providing input varieties are very helpful”.
He is hopeful the new Plant Breeders law promulgated by the government will help breeders to produce better varieties for the country.
“I believe we are helping to make our agricultural systems enhanced and also to bring about agricultural productivity,” he stated.
Ghana Food Movement, a non-profit advocating sustainable agriculture organized the third Movers Connect: Let’s talk seeds.
Co-director of the Ghana Food Movement, Aimee Wallin explained that the motivation to start a conversation on seeds is aimed at bring the topic close to stakeholders in the agribusiness space.
“We organized this conversation because we think it’s important to bring the topic of seed, close to everyone and consumers as well. We realize that seeds are quite tricky to understand. It’s very technical and we think that we should engage more in conversations like this because we all eat and all of our food comes from seeds. Again, we realized that there is a division in the seed debate I think most people don’t even know about,” she explained.