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US Embassy in Ghana educates local farmers on GM cotton
15
Oct '14
The United States Embassy in Ghana helped cotton farmers from Ghana and Togo learn about Genetically Modified (GM) cotton, by taking them on a study tour to GM farms in Burkina Faso, Modern Ghana reported.

Mr. Martin Vonghan, the Second Secretary for Economic and Commercial Affairs at the United States Embassy, briefing the participants in the study tour, stressed on the need to encourage GM cotton to help farmers increase their yields.

Mr. Bayou Jonas, Secretary General of Sofitex, the Burkinabe Society of Textile Fibres, which works towards the development of the cotton agro-industry in Burkina Faso, said that Burkina Faso has become one of the top cotton producers in Africa, after adapting GM cotton since 2003.

After the adaption of GM cotton, our yields have increased and it has also helped increase our livelihood economically, he added.

Mr. Patrick Apullah, the vice president of cotton producers association of Ghana, appreciating the US Embassy for the study tour, asked policy makers to examine the positive impact of GM cotton on farmers and the economy of Burkina Faso, and urged them to implement GM cotton in various countries.

Burkina Faso was the first country in Western Africa to allow cultivation of GM cotton in 2003, on an experimental basis, in view of the profitability concerns of cotton industry and environmental and health risks associated with the use of pesticides.

In the 2013-14 season, Burkina Faso produced 750,000 tons of cotton, making the country the largest cotton producer in Africa. The Interprofessional Cotton Association of Burkina (AICB) expects production to go up further to 800,000 tons in 2014-15 season. (GK)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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