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23 September 2012 | Agriculture

Ghanaian journalists engage researchers on biosciences for farming

Kofi Adu Domfeh
Ghanaian journalists engage researchers on biosciences for farming

A team of seasoned Ghanaian science journalists has set the ball rolling for the Biosciences for Farming in Africa (B4FA) project, committing to bridge the gap between science and the public.

The six-month Pan-African Professional Development programme is aimed at promoting better understanding and dialogue on developments in agriculture and biosciences throughout Africa.

Subjects under the Fellowship include plant breeding, genetic sciences and agricultural biotechnology.

Participating media professionals have been engaging local and international researchers on advances in technologies to address food production challenges and secure agricultural production.

They are also discussing the regulatory and commercial aspects of biotech and crop improvement.

Project Director, Dr Bernie Jones says the programme is to better inform media professionals and others of recent advances in plant breeding and agricultural biotechnology, and to examine how these advances could be and are being applied nationally.

Global food production is threatened by population, climate change, water availability, rising costs of inputs and need to conserve natural resources.

Poor quality planting material and depleted soils have kept farmers' yields at one-quarter of the global average and less than one-quarter of African farmers use high yielding, locally adapted seed.

New technologies are being developed, which could help double agricultural productivity in Africa.

The B4FA project seeks to empower the media to lead the crusade of exposing the public, especially farmers, to scientific and technological advances.

It is expected that media reportage science and agriculture-related issues would be enhanced at the end of the project, which is also running in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.

Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh/Luv Fm/Ghana

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