Due to increasing populations and climatic changes, many countries around the world have embarked on series of measures to improve their agriculture and food stock.
One mechanism that is gaining acceptance in this drive has been the introduction of Genetically Modified (GM) crops.
A genetically modified crop is a food plant that has received genetic material from another plant, resulting in permanent change in one or more of its characteristics.
Towards this end, research into the viability of some selected GM crops is currently ongoing and making remarkable progress.
A Deputy Director at the
History of biotechnology in
Since then the country has gone through several stages to culminate in passing a Biosafety law (Act 821, 2011), to regulate biosafety technology in the country with the purpose of protecting the health of the people and the environment and also allow for commercial production of genetically modified crops. The Act also allows for genetically modified crops to be imported into the country.
"The government has been in favour of technology in agriculture for a very long time and considering the fact that there are so many people to feed it is important that we use technology to our advantage,'
According to him, the biosafety law entails strict controls, risk assessment and stringent monitoring processes whether in planting or to operate by way of importation.
At present, he said only four applications had been approved for research to be undertaken into them and all of them were from the CSIR.
Three of these are for confined field trials, meaning that the GM crops are to be planted at a specific place, under set conditions and fenced, while one is for multi-locational trials i.e. the crop is planted in different locations.
Crops under investigation
The NEWEST Rice was the first GMC to be planted in the country. The first batch was planted in April this year and harvested in July. A second batch has since been planted.
However, according to
Meanwhile, Marcelinus Dery reports from Tamale that research scientists at the
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