‘Misinformation cause of GMO’s widespread technophobia’

The Director General and Chief Executive Officer, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, has raised concern over the level of misinformation about the adoption of agricultural technology in Nigeria, saying this is cause of widespread technophobia.

This is even as he commended the media for playing significant role in the propagation and acceptanbility of technology in the Nigeria agricultural sector.

Mustapha gave the commendation, during the recent at the 6th edition of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) media award and gala nite in Abuja.

He said, “Gentlemen of the Press, your contributions to national development through the promotion of innovative best-practice in agricultural biotechnology and other agricultural technologies that address challenges of food insecurity, climate change and sustainable development are nothing less than a mark of passion, perseverance and dedication. This is highly commendable.

“No technology development has ever succeeded anywhere in the world without the media playing a very significant role of leading to its propagation and ensuring its acceptance. This is why we acknowledge the strategic role of the media in building bridges across divides.”

He however lamented the level of misinformation going round, saying, “One of the identified challenges debarring Nigeria’s attainment of food security is widespread technophobia. This largely results from misinformation.  Many well-meaning Nigerians are unaware of the benefits of biotechnology. Others are misinformed about it, while some have embraced conspiracy theories alleging that biotechnology is aimed at reducing the human population.

Welcoming the delegates, the Country Coordinator, Dr. Rose Gidado, said the award was instituted to ensure that journalists reporting on the subject matters are exposed to best practices in the profession.

“The sixth edition of the award recognizes exemplary journalism that stimulates best practices in the adoption of agricultural technologies, particularly agricultural biotechnology.

“Therefore, it seeks to recognize outstanding journalists in all media genres involved in the coverage of agric biotech stories in Sub-Saharan Africa with the objective to appreciate their contribution in promoting sustainable agricultural technologies,” she said.

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