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Regional News of Saturday, 31 March 2012

Source: GNA

Adopt Genetically Modified crops to increase yields - Prof Nketsia-Tabiri

Professor Josephine Nketsia-Tabiri, Director of Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI), has called on farmers to embrace the application of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), to increase crop yields and help sustain socio-economic sustainability.

She said, the adoption of biotechnology would not only increase production but also fight insects to enable farmers to save money for other uses.

“Some critical challenges facing farmers including weeds, pests and diseases, spoilage due to over-ripening, inadequate irrigation and lack of mechanization can be addressed through effective application of biotechnology”, she added.

Prof Nketsia-Tabiri made the call during the third monthly session meeting of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) on the theme “Biotechnology: The Ghanaian farmers' perception and perspective " at the weekend in Accra.

The meeting brought together about 100 farmers across the country to interact with scientists and policy makers to be educated on the importance of biotechnology and the bio safety law.

The initiative served as a platform for the farmers to share knowledge and experiences and explore new avenues in the biotechnology sector.

Prof Nketsia-Tabiri said, biotechnology was like any technological application that used biological systems, living organisms to make or modify products adding that if it's properly harnessed, it could augur well for the development of the agricultural sector of the country.

She encouraged farmers to patronize biotechnology since the law had been passed to enable Ghana to allow the application of biotechnology in food crop production.

Mr Joseph Kwansah, a vegetable farmer, called on government to often organize workshops for farmers to be educated on modern agricultural methods to improve skills for the development of the agricultural sector.

He urged extension officers to regularly visit rural farming communities to know their problems and provide solutions to them.**

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