The Nigeria chapter of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Africa has extended its gratitude to the press, recognising the dedicated efforts of journalists, media professionals and communicators for contributing to the advancement of the realm of agricultural biotechnology.
OFAB acknowledged the pivotal role played by the media in bridging the gap between scientific advancements and the general public, emphasising that the media serves as a powerful tool for disseminating knowledge, fostering understanding, and shaping public opinion.
The commendation was given during the 7th edition of the OFAB Media Award held in Abuja, themed ‘Building a Sustainable Legacy for Media Practitioners’. This award aimed to encourage and recognise exceptional reporters who stood out in the coverage of the agricultural biotechnology sector in Africa.
The deputy chairman of the House Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ajiroghene Jonathan conveyed his goodwill message, highlighting the exceptional skills demonstrated by the media in communicating the complexities of agricultural biotechnology to the public. He commended their dedication to accurate reporting and their ability to translate scientific jargon into accessible information, acknowledging that their work not only informs but also educates, inspiring a new generation of scientists, farmers, and policymakers. He congratulated the award recipients for their invaluable contribution to science communication and encouraged the continuation of this important work.
During the welcome address at the award ceremony, the director-general and chief executive officer of the National Biotechnology Development Agency in Nigeria, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha stressed that media coverage and support have stimulated the adoption of agricultural biotechnology. He emphasised the OFAB Media Award as a testament to the significance of responsible journalism and media communication in the field of agriculture and biotechnology. Mustapha urged continued support for the media in their vital role, considering the profound consequences of decisions made today regarding biotechnology on the future of agriculture, the environment, and society as a whole. He extended heartfelt congratulations to the winners of the OFAB Media Award, commending their dedication to responsible and informative reporting on agricultural biotechnology.
Director of the agricultural biotechnology department, Dr. Rose Gidado also spoke, noting that the award has continued to recognise outstanding journalists for the past 7 years. She appealed to the media to leverage the award to showcase the professionalism and skill of Nigerian media.
“The OFAB Media Award, now in its 7th edition, is a celebration of the remarkable efforts made by journalists and media professionals in informing, educating, and raising awareness about agricultural biotechnology,” stated Gidado. She emphasised the significant promise of biotechnology in addressing global challenges such as food security, climate change, and sustainable agriculture. Through media storytelling, the gap between the science of biotechnology and the broader public is bridged, enabling informed decisions and understanding of potential benefits.
Acknowledging the tireless work of journalists and media professionals, Gidado expressed appreciation to the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) for their unwavering support and commitment to fostering a conducive environment for informed dialogue on agricultural biotechnology. The award ceremony, under the auspices of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), stands as a testament to excellence in media reporting on agricultural biotechnology.
Winners of the media award in the television category include Achanya Favour Ada (AGTV), second position while Sarah Achimugu (Channels TV) clinched the first position. For the Radio Category, Chinasa Ossai (FRCN) came second while Blessing Ituma (FRCN) emerged winner in the category. Ibrahim Isah (BBC) clinched the DG’s prize.