Ghanaian Times Reporter, Ms Benedicta Gyimaah Folley, has been awarded at the Open Forum Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) Media Awards for her outstanding reporting on science.
She won the print category of the award scheme which honours exceptional journalism that encourages best practices in the adoption of agricultural technologies in the country.
Now in its fifth year, the award scheme organised by OFAB-Ghana chapter on Thursday was on the theme: “Credible and balanced science reporting in readiness for biotech seed development.”
Two other female journalists; Gloria Anderson of GTV, and Joyce Gyekye of Radio Ghana won the TV and Radio categories respectively, with all winners receiving plaques, cash prizes and hampers.
Their entries highlighted agricultural biotechnology, particularly on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and how it could contribute to Ghana’s food security strategies.
Initiated by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), the OFAB Media Awards, creates the platform to heighten knowledge-sharing and awareness creation of agricultural biotechnology.
A former Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Professor Kenneth Danso, urged Ghanaian journalists to pay attention to science reporting and do it accurately.
That, he said, would help them understand and help the public appreciate the role scientists play in everyday life especially in the area of agricultural biotechnology.
He said collaboration between journalists and scientists would help address issues of food security in the country and spur the socio-economic development of the nation.
“Biotechnology is there to solve human problems,” Prof. Danso noted.
The National Coordinator for OFAB-Ghana, Dr Richard Ampadu-Ameyaw, said the inception of OFAB-Ghana had helped churn out credible information on agricultural biotechnology.
That, he said, was done through conferences, workshops, and stakeholder engagements, with the overarching aim of bridging the gap between scientists, policy makers and the public.
Dr Ampadu-Ameyaw said considering the threats posed by Climate Change, it was necessary to find innovative solutions such as agricultural biotechnology to address the issues of agriculture in the world, particularly in Africa.
He said OFAB-Ghana would continue to provide information on agricultural technologies, particularly genetically modified organisms to enable people to discard the various misconceptions they have about the technology.
A former awardee of the contest, MrsAmaAmankwahBaafi, a staff writer with the Graphic Communications Group Limited, encouraged Ghanaian journalists to prioritise science-based agricultural reporting.
“Agriculture needs to be given the necessary attention as it is often touted as the bedrock of the economy,” she said.
In addition, she noted, “As Ghanaian journalists, we have a serious and a big role to play in correcting the misconceptions about the use of science and bio-technology in agriculture in Ghana.”
BY JONATHAN DONKOR