Weekly News Bulletin - Reporting on GMOs and Organic in the News:

This week's bulletin is about the Media. TOAM and TABIO train journalists on responsible reporting on GMOs and organic agriculture (kilimo hai) makes national news!

TABIO Train Journalists on GMO Reporting

On 10th September, TABIO in collaboration with TOAM and AfrONet conducted a training to provide journalists with knowledge and skills on how to cover and report on GMOs in the news.

TABIO is in its fourth phase of implementing the Seeds for Self Reliance project with support from Swissaid. The main objective of this project is to enable smallholder farmers to have access to reliable and affordable sources of seeds. This is achieved by supporting farmers in seed multiplication to enable them to save seed from one season to the next.

The push to introduce GMOs in the country is on the increase with intensive use of media to propagate false promises regarding what can be achieved through introducing GMOs. Media personnel in most cases only receive information from GMO proponents which results in reporting on the so-called benefits of GMOs and leaving aside the huge risks associated with GMOs.

The push for creating a conducive environment for introducing GMOs is on the increase and awareness among journalists reporting on GMOs is dropping off the pace. Supporters of GMOs have taken advantage of ignorance among journalists on the topic to push for favorable reporting. It is in this light that a one-day workshop was organized to equip print media personnel with skills on how to report GMOs in a balanced and informed manner.

On 10th September, TABIO in collaboration with TOAM and AfrONet conducted a training to equip journalists with knowledge and skills on how to cover and report on GMOs in the news. 15 journalists joined us at the Msimbazi center conference hall in Dar es Salaam, including four from electronic media and 11 from print media. Topics covered include the history of GMOs and their effects on consumers, the environment and the food industry in general.

Journalists responded well, promising to conduct research, write articles and produce programs concerning GMO’s in Tanzania.


Kilimo Hai Makes the News

This Wednesday’s (14th September) edition of Habarii Leo featured a two-page article about organic agriculture (in Kiswahili: Kilimo hai). The article highlights the importance of organic agriculture and the marketing opportunity it presents for farmers.

Habari Leo is one of Tanzania’s leading daily newspapers and has a wide readership. It is hoped that the article will add to the growth in awareness amongst consumers and farmers on organic agriculture.