Wilberforce Laate — Deputy Executive Director, CIKOD
Wilberforce Laate — Deputy Executive Director, CIKOD

GAEM kicks against commercialisation of 14 novel GM products

The Ghana Agroecology Movement (GAEM) has called on the government to immediately suspend the commercialisation of the 14 novel genetically modified (GM) products, comprising eight maize and six soyabean products.


The movement, coordinated by the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD), which consists of 52 civil society organisations (CSOs), farmer organisations and producers of agroecology products, said the GMOs were not the solution to the fight against hunger in Africa (Shoo, 2014).

It said the approval of GM crops undermined the sovereignty of Ghana's agricultural sector, and would make small-scale farmers, , dependent on multinational corporations for agricultural seeds and inputs.

Press release

The movement raised the red flag in a press release signed and issued by the Deputy Executive Director of CIKOD, Wilberforce Laate, last Thursday. In April this year, the Ghana National Biosafety Authority approved the commercialisation of the 14 novel genetically modified (GM) products, comprising eight maize and six soyabean products.

The release questioned the purpose of increasing and maximising productivity as claimed by the proponents of GMOs when they could not safeguard and minimise post-harvest losses as a result of poor infrastructure.

It said in the wake of the announcement and the counter arguments raised by CSOs as well as the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, NBA denied approving the seeds of 14 GM products to be cultivated in the country.  

It said, according to a release signed and issued by the Chief Executive Officer of the NBA, Eric Amaning Okoree, published in the media, that it had only registered 14 GM products to be imported for food, feed and processing.

Health implications

"This uncertain situation calls for thorough discussions to prevent health implications on the Ghanaian consumer. "Why should we be importing GM products when we have all it takes to adequately provide for ourselves," it asked.

It said the GAEM was opposed to the commercialisation of those crop varieties.


Explaining the reasons for its position, the movement said Ghanaians would lose sovereignty over its agricultural productivity because GM materials would make Ghanaians dependent on foreign corporations.

It said smallholder farmers would lose their livelihoods since the imported materials would replace their productive activities. The release said GM foods could have harmful effects on the human body.

It said the consumption of GM foods could also cause the development of diseases which were immune to antibiotics. "Ghana does not need GMO foods and crops. The development of Ghana’s agriculture is rather dependent on access to good rural roads, appropriate and available storage facilities, affordable and accessible capital for investments and greater support for farmer managed seed systems," it said. 

Invest in agroecology

It called on the government to rather prioritise increasing investment in agroecology to transform the agri-food system, build resilience and enable small-scale farmers to adapt to climate change.

It explained that agroecology had the solution to Ghana’s agricultural challenges. "This is because agroecology reverses the negative effects on the environment caused by industrial agriculture’s agro toxins," it stated.

It said agroecology would help the country to restore vegetative and tree cover and improve soil fertility and health. 

Climate change

It explained that the agroecology would help farmers adapt to climate change as well as enhance biodiversity. It added that the country needed an agricultural system that was increasingly more sustainable, equitable and resilient to produce nutritious and culturally appropriate food.  

Writer's email: [email protected]

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