Adoption of GMO cowpea, rice could offer substantial boost to Ghana’s farmers and consumers, study says

Cowpea Farm
A farmer examines his cowpea plants

Cowpea is the most widely produced grain legume in Ghana and a key food security crop. In northern Ghana, where most of Ghana’s cowpea is produced, the crop helps households overcome the annual hunger gap between planting and harvesting times. This is important for regions that have a monomodal rainfall distribution with a long lean season.

Rice is a staple food across Ghana. Some estimates suggest that rice is the most consumed cereal per capita after maize ….

This paper uses an innovative research process to quantify the potential impacts of releasing and adopting insect-resistant (IR) cowpea and nitrogen-use efficient (NUE) rice in Ghana …. Ghana’s stakeholders selected the two genetically modified (GM) technologies discussed here based on their assessment of these GM products’ regulatory advancement and their economic and political importance …. [T]he authors estimate that the benefits of adopting IR cowpea are between US$5.5 million and US$125.3 million, and between US$1.9 million and US$153 million for NUE rice.

Related article:  Podcast: Food 5.0—GMOs, robots and the future of farming with agronomist Robert Saik

These findings underscore the opportunity for policymakers and decision makers to invest in policies that …. foster conditions to increase farmers’ and consumers’ uptake of these technologies. Investments in effective extension practices and seed delivery might be one such policy that could merit the attention of decision makers.

Read full, original article: Adoption of GM crops in Ghana. Ex ante estimations for insect-resistant (IR) cowpea and nitrogen-use efficient (NUE) rice

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