A Senior Research Scientist with the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) says Ghana’s first genetically modified crop – the pod borer resistant cowpea (beans), will help the country deal with protein deficiency challenges among the population.
Dr Richard Ampadu-Ameyaw believes the variety will offer the country many benefits when it is eventually approved for the benefit of farmers and consumers.
“In a lot of places, being able to buy fish or meat is a challenge, so more beans will help ensure more proteins for the people,” he observed.
“If it is well managed and well farmed, it could help a lot of people move away from poverty,” he added.
The pod borer resistant cowpea (PBR cowpea), as it is called, helped farmers cut down pesticide use on their farms by up to 80% during field trials supervised by scientists from SARI.
The resistance results from introducing a gene from a naturally occurring bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis, to control the pest.