The director-general of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, has underscored the importance of constant communication and cooperation between scientists and journalists, saying it is critical for understanding and deployment of new agricultural biotechnology.
He stated this at the presentation of the Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) Media Award prizes to the recipients in Abuja, saying the long-standing relationship between scientists and journalists made it easier for people to learn and appreciate science and its contributions to the society.
“On this note, I will call on science journalists to avoid fake news, focus on factual news that promote the deployment of technology in various aspects of development including agriculture most especially, nowadays, as we strategise on how to feed our teeming population in this country,” he said.
He pointed out that Nigerian farmers would be planting the newly released Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) Cowpea (beans) this farming season, stating that the national stewardship committee had been inaugurated to monitor the multiplication and distribution of the variety of the new beans.
He urged the media to monitor all the stages and channels, through which the PBR cowpea seeds reach the farmers to ensure that there is no compromise or sharp practice that will deny farmers the maximum benefit the technology offers.
On her part, the OFAB country coordinator, Nigeria chapter, Dr Rose Gidado called for more support from the journalists as Nigeria is entering its first phase of commercialisation of genetically modified crops. She explained that the recipients of the award were unable to get their prizes because they could not attend the event which was held in Nairobi, Kenya virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.