OFAB Recommends Forum To Champion Biotech in Africa

Minister-of-Agriculture-Dr-AKINWUMI-ADESINABy Abdallah el-Kurebe
The Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) has recommended the establishment of a forum of experts that could champion the course of agricultural biotechnology across Africa with focus on the establishment of biosafety laws in African countries.
The recommendation was among many others issued at the end of the 4th Annual OFAB Africa Review and Planning meeting, which held between 22nd and 26th April in Abuja.
The meeting observed that establishing such body of experts would help in sailing through the difficult waters of resisting agricultural biotechnology that is witnessed in most countries of the continent.
OFAB further observed the need for it to work closely with national and regional academies such as the African Academy of Science as well as the need to engage grass-roots network for the purpose of passing information to farmers.
“There is the need to engage the grass roots networks through credible farmer organisations and take advantage of farm field schools to disseminate biotech information to farmers,” part of the recommendations read.
Extensive use of social media platforms as well as the setting up of RAPID response team of scientists and the media was identified as veritable tools of checking the activities of anti-biotech.
Other recommendations included use of local languages for effective communication of biotechnology; establishing effective stakeholder net-mapping and aggressive encouragement of scientists to speak up on biotechnology.
With a need to focus on crops, the meeting also saw the need to define the impacts of all OFAB activities that could be measurable.