Salima, Realizing the significance that factual reporting has on the agriculture sector development, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, in conjunction with the News Alliance Policy Acceleration Support (NAPAS) is currently training journalist on techniques of upholding ethical reporting on the matter.
The Director of Administration in the ministry, McCallum Sibande, underscored the importance of the engagement based on the fact that agriculture remains the main economy driver hence the need to treat its information assembling, processing and disseminating with cautious to avoid misinforming the stakeholders.
We don’t want the media to report fake news as you know agriculture is the main stir of the country’s economy so any mistaken information to the farmers and all stakeholders in the sector would affect productivity, explained.
The director indicated that at times, the media has misinformed the masses in their reporting as they have missed the processes leading to decision in the agricultural sector hence the training need.
However, Sibande expressed satisfaction in how the media recently handled the Fall Army worm outbreak which was such a big problem that was managed to a good extent after the media reported the right facts to the farmers.
The senior program Manager and a Policy Analyst for New Alliance Policy Acceleration (NAPAS) Arthur Mabiso, commended the media on how instrumental they have been on agriculture news leading to a better production scale.
Referring to the Fall Army worm outbreak, Mabiso felt due to the factual information disseminated by the media on the same, enabled the farmers to mitigate the damage to a good extent which saved a good volume of the grain.
Another example is the issues of the minimum farm produce prices where the media has been so vibrant in feeding the farmers with the necessary information on the same, explained Mabiso.
However, Mabiso called on the media to continuously unpack and communicate important agricultural instruments such as the agricultural and irrigation policy as one way of ensuring total embrace by all stakeholders, explained Mabiso.
Planning for the future, Mabiso indicated that plans are there to engage researchers from various universities who seem to have problems in offloading their finding to the media to complete the communication chain.
The media training which is currently underway in Salima has brought together agriculture journalists from a wide stretch of the country media representation and it is being funded by USAID, Michigan State University and IFPRI.
Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA