The Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Africa, Nigeria Chapter, has engaged editors in the Nigeria media industry in an interactive session aimed at enhancing accurate science communication.
The interaction, which held in Lagos, was supported by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and hosted under the auspices of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA).
Ms. Sarah Melah, Information Officer for OFAB, in a statement said the workshop was to equip editors with a comprehensive understanding of Agricultural Biotechnology and Biosafety.
She said the goal was to ensure that decisions regarding Genetically Modified (GM) crops were rooted in evidence-based science, and policymakers’ choices were effectively conveyed to the public.
On her part, Mrs Iweajunwa Ogochukwu, Head of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology and Biotech Awareness Unit, outlined the objectives, which was to keep the participants informed.
According to her, the workshop is to ensure participants stay updated on agricultural biotech developments.
She said that it would also correct misconceptions related to the safety of biotechnology.
Ogochukwu said it would also enhance the capacity of participants for more informed editorial decision-making regarding agricultural biotech matters.
Prof Abdullahi Mustapha, Director General, NABDA, emphasised on the importance of public understanding and acceptance of agricultural biotechnology.
He said that it was a collective responsibility to provide accurate and fair information to Nigerians in order to enable them to make informed decisions about biotechnology applications.
Mustapha highlighted the media’s crucial role as a bridge connecting complex scientific discoveries with the broader society, translating technical language into understandable terms, and fostering informed discussions.
Dr Rose Gidado, Director of the Agricultural Biotechnology Department, NABDA, drew attention to Nigeria’s vulnerability to climate change and its detrimental impact on agricultural production.
She underscored biotechnology’s potential to address challenges posed by climate change, such as heat, floods, and droughts.