Farmers Urged To Advocate Holistic Agriculture Bill

Bolgatanga, April 8, GNA - Professor David Millar, a former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), has appealed to farmers to advocate for the passage of a holistic Agriculture bill that would help to address the livestock and fishery industries instead of advocating for the passage of the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the Plant Breeders' Bill. He said this during a stakeholders meeting jointly organised by Action Aid Ghana, the Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKODE), and the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) in Bolgatanga on Monday. The meeting aimed to solicit views and inputs of farmers about the passage of the plant breeders bill. The former Pro-Vice Chancellor who is also the founder of the Miller Open University told the farmers that they had been marginalised for far too long and said it was time for them to rise up and fight for their rights. He said passage of genetically modified organisms and the Plant Breeders' Bill alone would not help address the needs of farmers. According to Professor Millar farmers played key role in national development and without them it would be difficult to turn the fortunes of the country around and stressed the need for farmers to legitimately seek for their rights. Professor Millar said it was important for parliamentarians to study the Plant Breeders bill before considering its passage. He stated that it was better to study indigenous systems of farming very well to extract the best practices of the principles of breading instead of relying on foreign breeds. According to him, the foreign breeds could cause body malfunction due to different geographical environment. The Executive Director of CIKODE, Mr Bernard Guri, said the forum which attracted farmers focal persons from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions was to explain the passage of the two bills which had attracted public debates. The Country Director of AAG Mr Sumaila Abdul-Rahman applauded government for seeking the views of farmers and other stakeholders before considering passing or not passing the bills and appealed to all stakeholders to take interest in the issue since agriculture was the backbone of the national economy. Source: GNA