In the news...

March 25th, 2013

P3200541Over twenty Nigerian journalists gathered in Abuja from 18-21 March to gain insight into plant genetics and its relevance for Nigerian farmers. The latest group of Media Fellows were joined by B4FA alumni as well as mentors, who included Nigerian, British and American scientists and journalists.

Jamila Hamisu Mai Iyali of Freedom Radio from Kano State seeks to reach farmers with better information:
“The only medium that gets information very fast to people is radio. … In fact, the northerners, they are used to walk with the radio wherever they are – the market, in the farm – they have their radio on.  Some will not even have TV, some do not even know how to read – on radio, you are speaking their own language, their dialect.”

At least one-third of the B4FA Media Fellows are also farmers themselves, such as Rabi Mohammed of NTA Sokoto.  She is an editor and senior producer on the radio. Speaking of the challenges that some potential women farmers face, she noted, “I inherited farming from my father … you have to participate in the farming activities. In my remote area,  women are not allowed to participate in farming activities because most of the women are confined in purdah, that is to stay right where they belong, in the house.  So most of us who were opportune to be elite, we come out to campaign for them to participate in farming in order to have something for their self-reliance.”  She continued, “As time goes on, women need to have something doing … we grow cash crops, like garlic, like ginger … maybe you can see a woman owning a 100 hectare farm.  … We have large-scale women farmers in our area.”

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B4FA Mentors of Science and Journalism included:

  • Adebayo Moses Adeolu, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso
  • Alexander Augustine Abutu Africa Science, Technology and Innovation News
  • Anna Muyiwa,  Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria
  • Christopher Leaver, Oxford University
  • Chukwuemeka R Eke Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research, Benin City
  • Daniel Otunge, African Agricultural Technology Foundation, Nairobi
  • Diran Onifade World Federation of Science Journalists & AfricaSTI
  • Julia Vitullo Martin, Journalist
  • Leonard Osayande Ihase Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research, Benin City
  • Sharon Schmickle, Journalist