[The Ghanian] government says its decision on whether to approve Ghana’s first genetically modified crop will be based on science and not fear.
The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) and the Ministry of Science and Technology, which regulate GMOs, both say proven scientific knowledge and not misinformation will inform their decision.
Scientists at the state-owned Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Ghana have completed trials on the pest-resistant Bt cowpea (beans) and will soon apply for environmental/commercial release of the variety.
The GM crop is expected to help farmers dramatically reduce their use of pesticides on cowpea farms, while also enjoying better quality and higher yields of this important staple food.
Besides the GM cowpea, field trials are also ongoing to produce Ghana’s first GM rice variety. The nitrogen- and water-use efficient and salt-tolerant (NEWEST) rice has been engineered to require less nitrogen fertilizer, tolerate drought conditions and grow in salty soils — and still give good yield.