Ghana had made steady progress towards the commercialization of Genetically Modified (GM) crops amidst mounting opposition. This paper presents findings of an empirical study on smallholder farmers’ knowledge and understanding of GM crops. Data used in this study was sourced from a survey conducted among members of Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs) in Northern Ghana in which 120 FBOs across 10 districts in the then three northern regions: Northern, Upper East, and Upper West regions were sampled through a multi-stage sampling technique. Personal and key informant interviews and Focus Group Discussions (FGD) were employed in collecting data for the study. Descriptive statistics and discourse analysis were employed in analyzing the data gathered from the survey. Analysis of respondents’ narratives on GM crops revealed a wide array of ideas ranging from factual, partly factual, mystical to a fictitious understanding about GM crops. In general, what smallholder farmers in northern Ghana know and understand about GM crops can be described as patchy and vague. The study found a significant relationship (x2 = 29.565; df = 2; P>| x2 | = 0.004) between the source of information on GM crops and the accuracy of farmers’ knowledge and understanding about GM crops. It is therefore recommended that National Biosafety Authority (NBA) should strengthen their public education on GM crops and Ghana’s agricultural biotechnology policy.
Key words: Knowledge, genetically modified (GM) crops, biosafety, Northern Ghana, agro biotechnology, smallholder farmers.
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