We are Not Hungry: Genetically Modified Crops and Development Debates in Ghana

elsadig elsheikh headshot

Elsadig Elsheikh

Event Recap

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

AFSWG Feb 2017 FlyerWe are Not Hungry: Genetically Modified Crops and Development Debates in Ghana 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

442, Stephens Hall, UC Berkeley

Across Africa, projects organized under the African Green Revolution seek to introduce genetically modified (GM) crops into African markets and farms under the auspice of increasing production and incomes and reducing hunger. In Ghana, efforts to commercialize GM cowpea, rice and cotton have met resistance from a coalition of farmer groups, civil society organizations, and development practitioners who worry that GM crops may cause more socio-economic and environmental harm than good.

This talk will explore debates over GM crops in Ghana, with a particular focus on the important socio-cultural and economic considerations that mark both sides of the debate. Moreover, the talk will examine how systems of knowledge become prioritized, how discourses of hunger are framed, and how U.S. development policy is tied to the upswing of interest in biotechnology in Africa. Download the flyer. 

Speaker Bio

Joeva Rock is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at American University, in Washington, DC. Her research examines changing agricultural and development landscapes in Ghana and the actors who seek to shape them. Her dissertation research looks specifically at food sovereignty efforts in response to the introduction of "improved" seeds (e.g. hybrid and genetically modified) vis-à-vis the African Green Revolution.


Elsadig Elsheikh | elsadig@berkeley.edu | Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, UCB

Peiley Lau | peiley@berkeley.edu | Ph.D. Student, Agricultural and Resource Economics, UCB


The Africans Food Sovereignty Working Group at Cal is a venue for activists, organizers, researchers, policy makers, scientists, filmmakers, and anybody else interested in Africa’s and the African diaspora’s food systems. The working group’s goals are to critically reflect on projects, scholarship, and information that engage with the experience of African (in the Continent and in the diaspora) communities, social movements, and countries that are at the frontline combating food insecurity, and designing their alternative food systems using ecological and sustainable methods. The events of AFSWG are free and open to the public.