Will Ghana’s Local Crops Die Out?
Ghana is being pressured to sell out it’s global agribusiness. The U.S. and the global seed industry are trying to strong-arm Ghana into adopting the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, known as UPOV.
The treaty confers intellectual property rights on huge seed companies such as Monsanto and locks farmers into a limited selection of patented corporate seeds. These genetically modified seeds can’t be saved from a harvest for next year’s planting. They must be purchased again year after year. They also won’t grow unless farmers also buy and use agrochemicals from the same corporations.International agribusinesses claim that GMO seeds will mean bigger yields for African farmers. But Africa doesn’t want to join an agro-industrial farming system that impoverishes farmers, and destroys the land to achieve massive harvests of uniform export crops.
Ghana’s farmers claim “Our economies are better served when peasant farmers can replant and crossbreed to create locally adapted varieties of crops.” They also state that “If we are to retain our freedom to plant, grow, and eat the foods we love, if we are to save their seeds and plant them again, all Ghanaians must join to fight the imposition of UPOV.”