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Adopt biotechnology for food security-Former CSRI Boss advises Africa governments

A former Director General of Center for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSRI) and a biotechnology advocate, Professor Walter Alhassan Sandow has advised African governments to pay serious attention to the Biotechnology if they really want to food secured.

Professor Alhassan believe Ghana will be better off in food security if she adopt biotechnology.

Ghana professor Alhassan said, for the past five years had concentrated on developing main two crops (rice and cowpea) using science through BT.

The cowpea he said was genetically engineered with BT genes. Before the BT cowpea, up to 80% of cowpea normally lost due to the activities of the insects known as Mayoka which feed on the stem and the spot.

The BT cowpea Professor Alhassan explain produces a protein which is a toxic to larvae of the insect.

He explained that the Savanna Agriculture Research Institute with the help of their colleague’s scientist outside Ghana successfully developed genetically modified cowpea and nitrogen efficient rice to ensure food security in Ghana.

He was interacting with journalist at the ongoing Agric Fair which forms part of activities of this year’s National Farmers’ Day celebration held at the Alhaji Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium.

The media interaction was facilitated by Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in African (OFAB).

The good thing about the two crops according to professor Alhassan was that, is a home grown and local seed growers will produce it with technical support from the scientist.

The yield level, the BT advocate noted will increase and hopefully cut down rice importation.

On the economic impact, Professor Walter Alhassan Sandow said the scientist have already done what he called  the ex-scientist economic analysis which indicated that Ghana stands to benefit more when he adopt BT.

He believes several millions of Ghana cedis will be serve if the government pay attention to it

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