Agri-biotech and Biosafety Communication Training in MalawiJuly 29, 2015
The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA AfriCenter), in conjunction with the National Commission of Science and Technology in Malawi (NCST), and the Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS) conducted a science communications training workshop for different biotech stakeholders in Malawi. As of October 2014, Malawi harvested its 2nd season confined field trial (CFT) for Bt cotton as well as its 1st multi-location trial. Recently, an application to conduct CFTs of Bt cowpea was accepted by the Biosafety Regulation Authority. Although the promising results from the Bt cotton CFTs has garnered much needed support for the technology, the safety of biotech crops is still treated with skepticism by the public. Hence the main objective of the workshop was to strengthen the capacity of key stakeholders to effectively communicate biosafety processes and on the safety and benefits of transgenic foods. The workshop took place on July 15-17, 2015 at the Silver Sands Hotel in Salima, Malawi.
Opening the workshop, the Director General of NCST, Mr. Anthony Muyepa, commended the organizers for the timely training as it is crucial for Malawi to create a team that will effectively engage the public and provide information in a way that builds their trust and clears misconceptions. He indicated that this is particularly critical now that Malawi will be testing Bt cowpea, which is a major food crop in the country.
Participants to the workshop were drawn from government departments, universities, research institutes, and farmer leaders. Participants expressed their satisfaction at being equipped with skills to help them effectively communicate agri-biotech issues to various stakeholders. They appreciated the need for being reactive rather than proactive in countering misinformation. "Lack of information can be misinformation, so provide correct and timely information." This is a lesson learnt by one of the participants.
For more information, contact Dr. Margaret Karembu firstname.lastname@example.org.
Biotech Updates is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. It is distributed for free to over 22,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- Liebert Features Women in Biotechnology Law and Regulation
- Agri-biotech and Biosafety Communication Training in Malawi
- Bacterial Protein Activates Rice Immune System
- USDA APHIS Deregulates Enlist Cotton Trait
- GM Rice Produces High Yield, Less GHG Emissions
- U.S. House of Representatives Passes Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act
- India's PM Modi Releases ICAR 'Vision 2050'
- OGTR Receives License Application for Commercial Release of GM Canola
- Philippine Region 2 Farmers Eager to Grow Bt Eggplant
- Turkish Biosafety Board Approves 5 Biotech Traits
- Overexpression of Stress-Associated Protein from Rice Increases Salt Tolerance in Arabidopsis
- Rice Allelle Early flowering1 Affects Spikelet Fertility through Gibberellic Acid Signaling
Beyond Crop Biotech
- TOPLESS Plants Give Insights in Human Signaling Mechanisms
From the BICs
- ISAAA Report Launched in Ivory Coast
- ISAAA Releases New Myths and Facts Booklet
Read the latest:
- Biotech Updates (November 29, 2023)
- Gene Editing Supplement (November 29, 2023)
- Gene Drive Supplement (February 22, 2023)
Subscribe to BU: