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OFAB Kenya Chapterprogress 2012 Presentation by the Programming Committee OFAB ANNUAL REVIEW & PLANNING MEETING May 8-10, 2013 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Establishment and Growth • Established in 2006 • Pioneer Chapter of OFAB Africa • Hosted by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), AfriCenter, under a collaborative agreement with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF)
Vision and Mission Vision • An Africa in which agricultural biotechnology makes a significant contribution to enhanced food security and wealth creation. Mission • To build an effective, trustworthy and responsive platform for society to make informed decisions on safety and appropriateness of the application of agricultural biotechnology.
1. Held 10 monthly meetings • Facilitated discussions on emerging issues e.g. labeling regulations, Seralini’s study • Increased information sharing due to improved coverage of OFAB events by the media • CMA’s presentation in June formed the basis for subsequent meetings to discuss labeling regulations • Coverage of key policy matters has led to recognition by key policy-making agencies e.g KEBS
Mrs. PalomaFernandes, Executive Officer, CMA makes a presentation on “ Impact of labeling regulations’’ during the June OFAB event
2. Special events (3 held) • Increased awareness among senior officials from ASCU ministries • NCST requested that the Biotech day be made annual • Increased agri-biotech awareness among the youth (biotech quiz & fashion show) • Participation at KARI conference raised OFAB K’s visibility
University students participating in the quiz Design students showcasing their garments
3. OFAB county • 1st held in Siaya on Dec 5, 2012; 2nd to be held on May 14th- delay due to heightened political period • Enhanced biotech awareness among farmers • Revealed the huge biotech information gap among the public
Participants at a farmers field Participants follow the proceedings
4. Science communication training • Workshop held on September 17-18, 2012 • Involved journalists and scientists • Increased objectivity in media reporting • Raised confidence of scientists to communicate • Better relationship between the two groups
“.....the meeting identified our weaknesses as scientists/ media that we have lived with without notice. As a result of the workshop, I feel I can now address the biotechnology uptake issues in a much more comprehensive and organised way. Thank you and keep it up!”-Prof. LailaAbubakar, University of Nairobi
5. Baseline survey • Held in Oct/Nov 2012 • Will enable a more focused approach in handling issues and communicating agri-biotech • Led to essential recommendations that will guide OFAB
Objectives of the baseline survey • Study conducted to determine the prevailing knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) of agricultural biotechnology among different stakeholders Objectives • To establish a benchmark for tracking outcomes and impacts attributed to OFAB interventions • Support development of M&E framework with indicators for measuring progress during the implementation of the Strategic Plan.
6. NetMapping • Held in Nov 12-14, 2012 • Goal: Activate and Engage Key Stakeholders for Biotech Acceptance • Identified challenges towards achieving OFAB Kenya’s objectives • Was instrumental in planning for the year 2013/14
7. OFAB publications • 3 Issue briefs • 2011 annual report • 2012 annual report
OFAB issue brief used in parliament to question the ban of GM food imports
8. Establishment of secretariat & working groups • Secretariat strengthened • 3 WGs established: • County expansion & special events • Capacity strengthening& documentation • Publicity • Increased efficiency in execution of OFAB activities
9. Social media platforms • Vital in sharing information on agricultural biotechnology especially with the youth • Facebook page has 95 likes • Twitter page has 27 followers • Contributed in facilitating online discussions
Key Biotech Issues in Kenya, 2012 • Punitive labeling regulations. • Penalties of KShs. 20 million, ten years imprisonment or both for those contravening. • Discouraging to traders & technology developers
Cont’d b) Study by Seraliniet al., linking GM maize too cancer. might have led to: c) Cabinet’s decision to impose a temporary hold on the importation of GM foods.
Issue Management • Provided platforms for discussion: • June 28, 2012 – Labeling regulations • Oct 25, 2012– Safety of GM Maize • Nov 29, 2012– Implications of the ban • Feb 28, 2013 – No link between cancer and GM foods • Direct engagement with policy makers
Cont’d • Provided IEC materials • Ensured that the discussions on emerging issues were well covered by the media
Key lessons learnt • There exists a huge information gap on agri-biotech within the public domain • People make decisions based on the information at hand regardless of authenticity • The media wields great influence • Innovative ways are needed in reaching out to policy makers • OFAB should be proactive at all times rather than being reactive
Status of agri-biotech in Kenya • Wide adoption of TC especially in banana propagation • 10 GM projects, most focusing on Kenya’s main staple crops such cassava (VIRCA), sweet potato (SASHA) and maize (WEMA) • Bt cotton commercialization expected in 2015
Biosafety frameworks • National Biotechnology Development Policy 2006 • Biosafety Act 2009 • National Biosafety Authority (NBA) • Four biosafety regulations: • Contained use • Environmental release, • Import, Export and Transit, and • Labelling Regulations.
Summary of activity plan for 2013/14 • Enhance media engagement • Engage the newly elected officials • Biotech tours, roundtable meetings, IEC materials • Spearhead activities towards lifting of the ban on importation of GM foods • Broaden collaboration with academia, youth and scientific community
Cont’d • Conduct biotech communication training for County assemblies and Cereal Millers Association • Production of quarterly agri-biotech updates • Provide fora for stakeholders interactions on agricultural biotechnology