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ghana food gmo

Oppressive New “Monsanto Law” Meets Opposition in Africa

By On May 31, 2015

The nation of Ghana is just one of many on the African continent locked into a struggle with Monsanto, pitting small farmers against the multinational corporation and other similar companies in a struggle for food sovereignty.

Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds and anti-farmer business dealings such as seed consolidation have already led to serious consequences for small farmers in places ranging from India to the Phillippines and many others, and residents of many other countries are beginning to catch on.

The fight for seed and food sovereignty has been especially fierce in Ghana, where seed saving has been a crucial part of traditional farming as it is throughout much of Africa.

Now, the government of Ghana is one where oppressive seed laws are attacking the roots of independent farming in the country, as noted in this recent article by The Ecologist.

ghana food gmo

A scene from the May 23 MAM in Ghana. Via Food Sovereignty Ghana on Facebook.

The article tells the story of how Ghana’s women farmers are especially steadfast in resisting the proposed laws.

“My mother gave me some seeds to plant. And I’m also giving those seeds to my children to plant.

“So that is ongoing, every time we transfer to our children,” Esther Boakye Yiadom explained in the article. “And that is how all the women are doing it. We don’t buy, we produce it ourselves.”

The barter and seed and food exchange system practiced by her and others in Ghana is the exact model of small-scale farming the United Nations says we need to feed the world, but will it be able to continue if Monsanto and others gain control?

A new law in Ghana dubbed the ‘Monsanto Law’ would effectively supercharge the power of multinational seed companies while at the same time restricting the rights of small farmers to keep and exchange seeds.

Today just 10 corporations control over 75% of the the world’s commercial seed market and yet in Africa 80% of seeds are controlled by farmer-managed systems. What could be the consequences of such a takeover of seeds in Africa by Monsanto and others for small farmers?

Check out the original article here for more info and perspective from those who are currently in the struggle themselves. You can also check out Food Sovereignty Ghana on Facebook here for more info.