Ama Kudom-Agyemang urges journalists to highlight agriculture

Accra Madam Mary Ama Kudom-Agyemang, an Environmental Communications Expert and a Journalist, has urged journalists to do in-depth reporting on the state of agriculture in the country.

She said food security was vital for development and it begins with agriculture.

So we want journalists to look into the current situation of agriculture, that is it progressing, is it doing well? Are we retrogressing or perhaps there are issues besetting agriculture production in the country, Madam Kudom-Agyemang stated in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the side-line of the launch of the Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), Ghana Chapter, second media awards in Accra.

Then what are the tools that can enhance agriculture production in the country, we also want to look at that. We want journalists to move away from the one way reportage – events based; that is, he said this, he said that, and to do all the investigations and analysis of the situation.

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, and, explores 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.

To promote credible, evidence-based science-driven information delivery in agricultural biotechnology, the theme for the stakeholders’ meeting was Exemplary Journalism, Credible Science Reporting and Better Public Understanding of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Madam Kudom-Agyeman noted that agriculture was key to the nation’s socioeconomic development; stating that agriculture goes hand in hand with technology as well as innovation and what is the current state of technology and innovation in the country?

She suggested that journalists did in-depth reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Ghana’s efforts to attain each goal.

She further called on journalists to take a closer look at the agriculture sector in order to bring out challenges bedevilling the sector for redress by stakeholders; stating that the media existed to serve the interest of the country as a whole.

Madam Kudom-Agyemang, who was an award winner at the 2017 OFAB Award winners, which was held in Kampala, Uganda, said journalists must be able to establish the various linkages and see how best, science, technology and innovation could help accelerate the agriculture sector.

I think it is very important for us in the media fraternity, to take up our swords and do justice to the sector; so that where things are not going well, we highlight it and make recommendations where necessary and deserved, she said.

So for me, it’s for us to work harder and to ensure that we are giving voices to the voiceless in society when it comes to food production, looking into every step of the value chain. This is because it is not just about the farmer; it is also about transportation, availability of land, the weather, the market access, as well as what happens to the food after harvest.

On the OFAB Awards, Madam Kudom-Agyemang said the Award was a step in the right direction to recognise the role of journalists in promoting agriculture, especially biotechnology.

Source: Ghana News Agency