The Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) Ghana, in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), organized a one-day sensitization program on biotechnology and genetically modified (GMO) foods for some Muslim clergy in Kumasi.
It aimed, among other things, to equip Muslim clerics with the required knowledge and understanding of biotechnology in agriculture and agriculture to help effectively educate the general public to adopt the technology to ensure sustainable national food security and improve farmers’ livelihoods.
Biotechnology involves the exploitation of biological processes for industrial and other purposes, especially the genetic manipulation of microorganisms for the production of antibiotics, hormones, among others.
Due to the misconception about the adoption of GMO technology, OFAB believes that the training would enable clergy to meaningfully educate policymakers on agriculture issues through the provision of expert knowledge and facts.
According to the OFAB, a tool currently used to improve biodiversity is biotechnology. The technology covers a variety of techniques and applications that enable the variation and enhancement of living organisms to provide desirable products for mankind.
The one-day awareness program, held with Muslim clerics in the Ashanti region, was also expected to enable clerics to contribute significantly to counteracting the misperception, beliefs and mystery surrounding the adoption of GMO products.
It brought together high-level Muslim personalities and researchers from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI).
Professor Alhaji Walter Alhassan, a high-ranking statesman and former director general of CSIR, told clergy that GM technology can be considered “halal” in the Muslim faith.
The former managing director, who is also a devout Muslim, explained that GMO crops should be considered “Halal”, meaning pure for consumption by Muslims.
“Let’s all help promote GM technology; it will help solve food security problems in Ghana and even beyond,” he said.
Story by: Nana Yaw Reuben Jnr.