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AATF, KEG unites to combat misinformation in agric biotech

By George George Idowu

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at enhancing journalists’ capacity to report accurately on agricultural biotechnology and address misinformation.

This partnership seeks to strengthen collaboration between editors, scientists, and audiences to foster agricultural development through scientific advancements.

AATF’s Executive Director, Dr. Canisius Kanangire highlighted the necessity of accurate information to enhance the adoption of agricultural biotechnology by farmers.

Kanangire noted that despite 27 years since the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), public perception remains clouded by misinformation.

He stressed the crucial role of journalism in educating the public and promoting the benefits of agricultural biotechnology for a food-secure Africa, as outlined in the AATF Strategy 2023-2027.

He said: “By uniting our efforts and leveraging the power of science and media, we can develop impactful solutions tailored to the unique needs of our region. Our collaboration with the Kenya Editors Guild will help disseminate accurate information and promote the benefits of agricultural biotechnology.”

In 2023, AATF and KEG held a brainstorming meeting in Nairobi to sustain learning opportunities and enhance dialogue between editors and scientists.

Smallholder farmers, who produce 70 per cent of the food supply, are seen as crucial to improving agricultural productivity and reducing poverty.

Zubeidah Kananu, President of the Kenya Editors Guild, stated that the partnership will promote the dissemination of accurate and impactful information on agricultural technologies.

She emphasized the importance of equipping reporters and editors with the necessary knowledge and tools to communicate advancements in agricultural technology effectively.

“This collaboration is not only timely but also essential in addressing the challenges faced by our agricultural sector, enhancing food security, and driving sustainable development across our continent,” she said.

Daniel Magondu, OFAB champion and chairman of the Society for Biotech Farmers of Kenya (SOBIFAK), expressed optimism about the partnership.

He recommended measures to help smallholder farmers, including access to irrigation, technologies, knowledge, and inputs to boost farming productivity.

With this MoU, AATF and KEG aim to ensure that journalists and editors have the resources to effectively communicate advancements in agricultural technology, ultimately benefiting farmers and the broader public.


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