A group of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions have demanded the suspension of the Plant Breeder’s Bill, calling the Bill a crafty means of colonization that will eventually take food sovereignty away from Ghana.
At a workshop in Bolgatanga, the Upper East regional capital, the group which includes the Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD), the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana and the Ghana Muslim Council, said the Bill is passed will also make farming a hostile enterprise for Ghanaian farmers.
Their concerns were catalogued in a communique that was issued at the end of the workshop.
“Section 23 of the Plant Breeders Bill is directly from the colonizers’ strategy book. Note what it says: A plant breeder right shall be independent of any measure taken by the Republic to regulate within Ghana the production, certification and marketing of material of a variety or the importation or exportation of the material,” the peeved CSOs noted.
“This means that the Ghanaian government has no legal authority over any seed production and marketing firm which deals in improved seed varieties in the country,” the communique assessed.
The Plant Breeder’s Bill aims to give scientists and science institutions intellectual property rights over new plant varieties they develop so they can earn royalties on their products. The arrangement is to work like the royalty system in the music business where a songwriter earns money anytime their music is played on radio.
In this case, the scientists will have royalties paid to them anytime their seeds are planted and result in yield no matter which part of the world. Concerned people have expressed fear that this new system which is taking over the world will put the food sources of humanity in the hands of ultra-rich corporations who can then decide to starve a given population if they so wish, especially after all-natural seeds have been phased out and replaced with bioengineered one by scientists.
Already some Christian groups have called this system a walking step to the days of the Mark of the Beast, however, Scientists say this will encourage more private investments in the seed sector for the benefit of farmers and the nation as a whole.
The Bill was first introduced in Ghana’s Parliament in 2015, however, it was withdrawn after CSOs mounted protests, only to be reintroduced later.