Wednesday, 1st December 2021
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

‘How media can help tackle Nigeria’s food security’

By Cornelius Essen, Abuja
22 November 2021   |   4:02 am
Media practitioners have been urged to educate, inform and emphasise giant strides made in modern biotechnology in agriculture, and sensitise farmers and citizens on safety and benefits of genetically modified crops.

Media practitioners have been urged to educate, inform and emphasise giant strides made in modern biotechnology in agriculture, and sensitise farmers and citizens on safety and benefits of genetically modified crops.

These were the highpoints of the fifth edition of the OFAB Media Award and Gala Nite in Abuja recently.

It afforded agricultural scientists and science reporters to open up national discourse on genetically modified organisms and other sundry issues in a bid to achieve food security.

Apart from this, the event brought farmers, researchers and policy makers under the same platform, and the organisers attested that it was one of major achievements they had recorded over the years.

Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, Director-General of National Biotechnology Development Agency, said no technology development had ever succeeded anywhere in the globe without the media playing the vital role of leading the awareness to ensure its acceptance.

He said: “We are gathered here to celebrate this group of hard-working and tireless individuals and science journalists, who lay their lives just to ensure that information is disseminated even to the remote parts of Nigeria and the world at large.

“As a country, we must encourage our scientists to continue to work for the good of the people. We have over 16 research institutes all over Nigeria with the mandate to improve various crops to attain self-sufficiency in quality food production.”

Still, he expressed optimism that agricultural biotechnology sector was undergoing a rapid transformation with scientists working to improve varieties of crops, saying, cotton and cowpea were already being planted by the farmers.

The guest speaker, Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian, Mr. Martins Oloja, in his paper, ‘The Media as a Tool for Building a Food-secure Nigeria,’ said good journalism that matters could only showcase quality through its quantitative analysis capability. 

Oloja stated that data and investigative journalism framework was what most schools and institutes (including World Bank’s) had established over the years, making media managers to realise that stories with measurable elements had become more significant to business leaders, managers, policy makers, political leaders and even journalism teachers.
 
He said: ‘’The most critical construct at the moment is data and investigative journalism, which is again more evidence-based. This reporting style shows the power of data, which makes journalistic products and legworks of journalists measurable by readers, viewers, listeners and managers.’’

According to Oloja, “the media do not get into controversies; we only give piece of information for an informed decision. The people promoting modern biotechnology are powerful in the world. Science is evidenced-based. So is it in journalism.”