The front lines of the food sovereignty war in Ghana are swelling as the national parliament gives support to the Plant Breeders Bill.
This proposed legislation contains rules that would restrict farmers from ancient practices: freely saving, swapping, and breeding seeds. Under new laws protecting the intellectual property rights of biotech, farmers would be subject to hefty fines for growing anything that has been ‘patented,’ even if their crops were cross-pollinated.
The obviously biotech-infiltrated Ghanaian government states that the new laws would “incentivize the development of new seed varieties to ensure the marketability of crops,” but farmers argue it gives rights straight to corporations like Monsanto, and not farmers who have been growing food in Ghana for centuries.
Many activists and trade groups there think that the new laws would simply give Monsanto a way to edge their biotech crops into the Ghanaian market. The bill has been dubbed the “Monsanto Law” for this reason.