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GNA journalists top Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology Awards


  27 Août      67        Media (1715),

   

Accra, Aug. 27, GNA – Two journalists from the Ghana News Agency (GNA) have won awards at the Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) Ghana National Media Awards 2018.

Mr Prosper Kwame Kuorsoh, a Chief Reporter with the GNA was adjudged Winner for the Online and Print Category and was rewarded with a an iPad, a plaque, a cash prize and a hamper.

The first runner-up for the Online and Print category position went to Mr Iddi Z. Yire, an Editor, also with the GNA. He also received a plaque, a cash prize and a hamper.

The winner for the Radio and Television category was Mr Philip Bagyiliko Tengzu of Radio Mak, Wa, who also received an iPad, a plaque, a cash prize and a hamper.

The trio would be participating in this year’s OFAB Africa Regional Awards to be held in September in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

The OFAB, an initiative of African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), is a platform that provides an opportunity for biotechnology stakeholders to network, share knowledge and experiences.

It also allows them to explore new avenues of bringing the benefits of biotechnology to the African farmer and investor.

The award aims at recognising exemplary journalism that stimulates best practices in the adoption of agricultural technologies; particularly agricultural biotechnology.

The OFAB-Ghana Chapter is among eight networks established by AATF in eight other African countries.

The OFAB Ghana, which was launched in May 2013, has been partnering with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Programme for Biosafety Systems (PBS), and the AATF to recognise journalists who have excelled in reporting on biotechnology.

Dr George Owusu Essegbey, a former Director, CSIR – Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI), who chaired the function, said journalists who evaluated science and develop interest in scientific reporting needed to be celebrated.

He said science reporting was a noble mission that needs much attention when it comes to communication; adding that, « we need to honour those who educate the public on relevant things under science, technology and innovation.

Dr Richard Ampadu-Ameyaw, OFAB Ghana National Coordinator, and a Senior Research Scientists at CSIR –STEPRI, said among the responsibilities of OFAB, was to enhance knowledge sharing among stakeholders, such as journalists, farmers and civil society organisations.

He noted that to facilitate education on modern agricultural biotechnology, on safety importance and disadvantages, journalists were needed to make this objective possible.

Dr Ampadu-Ameyaw stressed that, the objectives of the awards was to promote excellence in science journalism and to promote balance in sustainable agriculture.

He said it was to recognise and honour journalists for their critical roles in promoting science and technology.

Speaking on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Dr Ampadu-Ameyaw noted that, they were still educating the public on GMO foods.

Professor Kenneth Danso, Director of Biotechnology and Nuclear Agricultural Research Institute (BNARI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, addressing the attendees, said scientists are sometimes so busy during a research that they don’t get time to communicate, hence the importance of journalists to support in the dissemination of their findings and recommendations.

« The media have a powerful tool in their hand and scientists have the technology-we have about 60 per cent of people in Agriculture, and technology also plays an important role in that. Therefore, the media is important in educating the public on the importance of using technology in Agriculture, » he said.

Prof Danso noted that, educating the public on the importance of technology in agriculture, would let them know that there would be enough raw materials for agro based industries; that yields would increase, nutritional foods would increase and would also reduce environmental degradation.

Dr Yakubu Alhassan, former Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), urged all tertiary institutions to adopt communication of science and interpretation of scientific components into their curricula to give science students better ways of helping the world to know the results of research.

He said in many instances, scientists were not trained to communicate the uses of technology.

He noted that an investment and business communication dimensions was not currently a subject scientists could add, he therefore, urged journalists to be stakeholders and communicators.

« Journalists therefore, need some motivation because it becomes important for journalists, who opt to report on science and agriculture to be able to do it efficiently, » he said.

Mr Kuorsoh on behalf of his fellow awardees expressed gratitude to OFAB for the honour done them.

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