In the news...

November 8th, 2012

Tanzanian journalists gathered in Arusha, Tanzania from 4-9 November 2012 to cultivate their knowledge about plant science and why it matters to smallholding farmers across their country through a series of insightful workshops and hands-on science experiments with leading experts from Tanzania, Europe and North America.  Over the course of four days, the Media Fellows benefited from the experience of many Tanzanian researchers (see list below) who deepened their knowledge of challenges and opportunities for staple crops in Tanzania and discussed hybridisation, tissue culture and seed banks. Tina Barsby of the National Institute for Agricultural Botany (NIAB, UK) offered insights into plant breeding, genetics and agriculture, Chris Leaver of Oxford University discussed genetic modification, journalists Joseph Kithama, Simon Berege and Sharon Schmickle engaged the Media Fellows in discussions about science journalism and sharpening their journalism skills.

According to Pr Lazarus S Laiser, a radio broadcaster with 17 years of radio experience and journalist for WREN Media, Farmer International and the Farmer Voice Radio Program who also trains broadcasters:

“I am attending this workshop which is part of my passion. I really want to work for farmers. I am myself a farmer and a pastoralist, so this is really moving me to do something for my fellow farmers and that I should do something for my fellow pastoralists. Using media to reach these people has been very effective so I am very happy. I had a vision to use media to reduce poverty in Africa and I have seen this happening. I have been producing radio programs and I have been seeing the effect- I have seen people changing their life, using good seeds, coming and asking questions and starting a business. And this is the role that all journalists can play, and in Africa we have more opportunities”

Tanzanian experts:

Fortunatus Kapinga, Naliendele Agricultural Research Institute

Derick Samwel, Mkuranga Agricultural Institute

Esther Masumba, Kibaha Cassava Research Institute

Grace Chipungahelo, Mikocheni Agricultural Research Institute

Omari Mponda, Naliendele Agricultural Research Institute

Daniel Otunge, African Agricultural Technology Foundation, Nairobi