The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) has appealed to government to suspend the ratification of the Plant Breeders Bill.
According to the group, any move to adopt the plant breeder’s bill will have an adverse impact on local farmers in the country.
The alliance further explains that the bill was based on UPOV 1991, a restrictive and inflexible legal regime, focused solely on promoting and protecting industrial seed breeders that develop genetically uniform seeds/plant varieties suited to mechanized large-scale agriculture growing monocultures for export.
Chairman of the AFSA, Bernard Guri, made the call at a Pan African advocacy Workshop organized by the group.
“There are country laws on the plant breeders bill that say that before you can sell seed, the seed must have some qualities, and it is only those breeders that produce that quality so which means that our own local seeds you can’t sell them, so all our farmers will have to buy that seed so at the end of the day, our farmers lose out their seed completely in the 100 percent dependent on the foreign seeds, which is big business for them but it is a complete risk in the effect that the company is unable to supply us.”
“What we are saying therefore is that this protocol should be stopped and if it cannot be stopped, because Ghana has already signed onto it, then at the parliament level, they should not ratify it,” he explained.
Mr. Bernard Guri further called on the general public to support the call for a suspension over what he described as a low level of education on the Plant Breeders Bill.
“We are saying that we haven’t educated people enough on that we haven’t allowed people to participate in it because seed is a common property for all of us… so we are going to fight and educate the public, traditional leaders, farmers and call for all to come together to resist it,” he added.
The call by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa for a suspension of the ratification also follows similar ones made by some civil society groups and individuals including the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana as well as the Food Sovereignty Ghana.