By Joyce Ojanji

The Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance journalists’ capacity to report accurately on agricultural biotechnology to address misinformation around the technology.

The partnership is set to create a positive and supportive environment to strengthen open and honest dialogue between editors, their audiences, and scientists.

Speaking at the signing of the MOU in Nairobi, Dr. Canisius Kanangire, AATF Executive Director noted that although genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have existed for 27 years, public perception of agricultural biotechnology remains clouded by misinformation.

‘’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,’ Dr. Kanangire noted.

He acknowledged the importance of accurate information and education in agricultural biotechnology to enhance adoption and uptake by the end users, adding that AATF recognizes the vital role of journalism in educating the public, promoting ethical standards, and engaging various stakeholders on the benefits of agricultural biotechnology for a prosperous and food-secure Africa.

Zubeidah Kananu, KEG President, expressed optimism in the partnership to promote the dissemination of accurate, relevant, and impactful information on agricultural technologies. She reaffirmed KEG’s commitment to ensuring that reporters and editors are equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively communicate advancements in agricultural technology to the public.

“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 added.

Kananu also observed that newsrooms across the country have invested significantly in telling stories on climate change and smart agriculture, describing the partnership as timely and crucial in ensuring that journalists and editors have the necessary resources and tools to effectively communicate advancements in agricultural technology to the public.

Daniel Magondu, the chairman of the Society for Biotech Farmers of Kenya (SOBIFAK), posed a critical question: “Why should farmers share their sweat with insects? Where else would you want us to go if not adopting agricultural innovations that have been proven to tackle the agricultural challenges we are facing now?” Magondu noted that the partnership presents a unique opportunity to ensure that farmers are not left behind as far as biotechnology is concerned.