GHANA – GM RICE TRIAL UPDATE
24 January 2015. Source: Ghana Web, http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/business/artikel.php?ID=343841
Researchers in Ghana say they are recording favourable outcomes in the trials of genetically modified (GM) rice in the country.
The confined field trials started in April 2013 at Nobewam in the Ashanti region, after receiving approval from the National Biosafety Committee (NBC).
The fourth successive experiment of the Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) rice is being conducted by the Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Principal Investigator, Dr. Maxwell Asante, says the project has already identified a lead event which will give at least a 15 percent yield advantage over non-GM version of the planted rice.
“If the lead event is confirmed, we will request for permission from the NBC to allow it to be grown by farmers in Ghana after testing. The genes that make the GM rice nitrogen-use efficient will then be transferred to other varieties in Ghana through conventional breeding methods,” he stated.
… The next set of experiment will involve the evaluation of the triple-stack gene rice plants to identify lead events in nitrogen-use efficiency, water-use efficiency and salt tolerant genetically modified rice – dubbed “NEWEST Rice”.
This will especially help farmers deal with the effects of climate change and expand rice cultivation to areas previously not supported.
Ghana’s GM or NEWEST Rice is projected to go commercial within the next three to five years.
Three confined field trials of rice, cowpea and cotton are currently being evaluated in Ghana in compliance with the Biosafety Act 2011, Act 831, which regulates GMOs.