AATF signs Memorandum of Understanding with Kenya Editors Guild to enhance agricultural biotechnology reporting

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By Murimi Gitari, May 24, 2024, The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) have joined forces to enhance agricultural productivity in Africa. In a significant move, the two organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at promoting research, technology development, and farmer adoption of innovative agricultural practices in Kenya.

The two organisations have committed to working together to enhance information sharing, capacity building and influence biotechnology discourse in Kenya.

The collaborative efforts between AATF and KEG will focus on several key areas that include information sharing where the two organizations are committed to enhancing the exchange of information related to agriculture, biotechnology, and sustainable practices. By sharing accurate and up-to-date knowledge, AATF and KEG aim to empower farmers and other stakeholders.

The collaboration also aims to enhance capacity building in which AATF and KEG recognize the importance of building capacity within the agricultural sector. Through workshops, training programs, and educational initiatives, they intend to equip individuals with the skills needed to drive positive change and especially the journalist in reporting agricultural biotechnology accurately

Influencing biotechnology discourse is also part of the joint efforts by the two organisations due to public perception of biotechnology that has remained clouded by misinformation and disinformation. AATF and KEG aim to address this challenge by promoting accurate information about agricultural biotechnology. This collaboration seeks to foster acceptance and positive attitudes toward biotechnology in Kenya.

Speaking during the signing of the MoU, the AATF Executive Director, Dr Canisius Kanangire, noted that the Editors Guild will play a critical complimentary role to the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), a project by AATF that brings together agricultural stakeholders who include the scientist, farmers, policymakers, journalist and regulators to discuss agricultural biotechnology developments.

“Over 20 years since the introduction of GMOs, public perception about biotechnology is still shrouded in misinformation and disinformation hence the need for awareness and dissemination of accurate information on agricultural biotechnology. We believe that this collaboration will be critical in supporting this mandate and consequently contribute to the acceptance and positive perceptions about biotechnology in Kenya,” Dr Kanangire said.

He added that ATTF was drawn to collaborate with KEG considering the umpteenth opportunities in promoting education for science communication and reporting that this partnership would cultivate.

“Journalism’s role is to educate, promote and enhance ethical and professional standards. Editors have great convening power to engage various publics on the benefits of agricultural biotechnology for a prosperous and food-secure Africa,” the Executive Director added.

Dr Kanangire also noted that AATF has been trying to fill the gap between researchers producing knowledge and farmers who have been starved of accessing the knowledge in changing agricultural practices. According to the Executive Director, the organisation came in to take this knowledge from the researcers to farmers and the collaboration with KEG will help in diseeminating scientific information into words and a language that farmers can easily understand.

The President of the Kenya Editors Guild, Zubeidah Kananu said that media houses are currently investing a lot of resources in reporting on climate change and smart agriculture.

“There is a lot that is being done on the ground by not only farmers but agricultural stakeholders and we are ready to report these stories. This is a crucial partnership that will now see journalist access resources and tools necessary to effectively communicate advancements in agricultural technology to the public. Through this partnership, we aim to foster a deeper understanding of these technologies, debunk myths and misinformation, and highlight the transformative potential they hold for our farmers and communities.,” Zubeidah added.

According to Zubeidah, the collaboration is not only timely but also essential in addressing the challenges faced by the agricultural sector, enhancing food security, and driving sustainable development across the continent.

“The Kenya Editors’ Guild is committed to ensuring that our reporters and editors are equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively communicate advancements in agricultural technology to the public,” she noted.


Mr Daniel Magondu, who is an OFAB Champion and also a BT cotton farmer appreciated AATF’s efforts in looking for collaborations that will see farmers accessing scientific information in a more simplified way and in a language that they can be able to understand through reporting by journalists.

AATF’s mission is to provide practical technology solutions to overcome farm productivity constraints faced by smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It envisions a prosperous, resilient, food-secure Africa where innovative agricultural practices transform livelihoods.

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