The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has called on media practitioners to avoid fake news, because it is capable of frustrating government’s efforts towards deployment of biotechnology to the country’s agricultural sector.
Onu who disclosed this Abuja over the weekend, during the 4th Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) Nigeria media awards, said that technology was one of the most reliable ways to agricultural development.
The Minister who was represented by Head of Department of Bioresources Technology in the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Agoro Olayiwola, said that with several factors seriously impacting on the nation’s food production negatively, biotechnology was the surest way of escape.
“Biotechnological tools such as genetic engineering are assisting many countries of the world to address some of the challenges facing their agriculture, but here, the media has also given voice to opponents of a technology that threatens the nation’s effort to attain food security. “While it is believed that the media has earned for itself a pride of place in the minds of the common man over the years, I strongly advise that this be maintained,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr. Rose Maxwell Gidado, Country Coordinator, Open Forum On Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Africa, Nigeria Chapter, urged media practitioners to continue to accurately simplify scientific findings to the people, as to enhance acceptability of technology in all human endeavors.
Gidado noted that false information was increasingly being spread to undermine the big role science plays in solving our present-day challenges including COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, food insecurity, among others.
While she commended the efforts of journalists who have always aided scientific works through their reportage, she also charged them to be firm and objective in matters that support sustainable development.