Crop Biotech Update

Workshop for SEA Media Practitioners on Biotech Reporting

December 4, 2013

Multi-media journalists and representatives from public research agencies and the private sector from Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam were updated on biotech reporting and communication in relation to food security and sustainable agriculture during the Biotechnology and Biosafety for Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture: A Regional Workshop for Media Practitioners. The workshop was held on 12-13 November 2013 at Novotel Bogor Golf Resort and Convention Center, Bogor, Indonesia. 

Topics of the workshop include the role, status, impact, and benefits of biotechnology, food security and sustainable agriculture discussed by ISAAA Global Coordinator and SEAsia Center Director Dr. Randy Hautea; the perspectives from the public and private sectors on current developments on biotech and biosafety by Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II (ABSPII) Director Dr. Frank A. Shotkoski and Seed Regulatory Affairs Dr. Tantono Subagyo, respectively; the basic concepts of biotech by Bogor Agricultural University professor Dr. Antonius Suwanto; and a successful biotech farming experience by Filipino biotech corn farmer-leader Ms. Rosalie Ellasus. ISAAA Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology Director Dr. Mariechel Navarro talked about effective biotech communication and led a writeshop on biotech reporting.

In his message, Dr. Hautea said that "the most important gene is the gene for perseverance." He said that in the very challenging task of communicating biotech, it is the consistent perseverance and willingness to learn, communicate, engage, and build trust that eventually will allow people to communicate more effectively. Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) Director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. said that objective and science- and evidence- based reporting is the key to help stakeholders realize what is in store for them and for the world when biotechnology is utilized and realized.

The workshop was co-organized by SEARCA, SEAMEO BIOTROP, ISAAA, ABSPII and Indonesian Biotechnology Information Center (IndoBIC). For more details, visit http://www.bic.searca.org/ or send an e-mail to bic@agri.searca.org.