Nigeria’s decision to commercialize Bt cotton has revived hopes for the novel variety in Ghana, its West African neighbor. Science-focused civil society groups are confident Nigeria’s move will serve as a good role model and push players in the agricultural space to resume work on processes to make Bt cotton available to farmers in Ghana.
“Nigeria came on board later thinking of commercialization of GM cotton and already it is out,” Dr. Richard Ampadu Ameyaw, Ghana coordinator of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), told Alliance for Science. “Ghana would have to take a cue from Nigeria, especially if we want to create more jobs in Africa and develop our textiles industry. So that we can create jobs for our farmers and teeming youth who walk about with no jobs. We need to be fast with coming out with our varieties to commercialize it.”
Ghana needs to catch up with Nigeria in applying technology to farming so that it is not left behind in the ongoing efforts to revive the cotton industry, Ampadu said. It is anticipated that Bt cotton will allow Nigeria to produce a high quantity of quality cotton, propelling it to a place of leadership in the continent’s textiles industry. Ampadu wants Ghana to benefit, too. “Nigeria is going to open up the cotton industry,” he predicted. “And that will have an impact on our textiles industry. In terms of pricing and other things, it’s going to affect what we produce in this country.” Read more