Malawi media horn skills in agriculture reporting, form committee

Lack of professionalism by the Malawi media in agricultural reporting poses threats to food security as the media has a critical role in enhancing production hence government organised a training for agriculture reporting for journalists.

Journalists listening attentively from presentation s during the agricultural policy training workshop in Blantyre

Journalists listening attentively from presentation s during the agricultural policy training workshop in Blantyre

Speaking at a three-day media workshop in agriculture reporting in Blantyre, Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) chief executive officer (CEO) Prince Kapondamgaga, said the media has a key role in ensuring that players in the agriculture sector access relevant information.

The training was organised with financial support from the Malawi Agriculture Policy Strengthening (Maps) and the New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support (Napas: Malawi) projects and Alliance For Green Revolution in Malawi(AGRA). The United States Agency for International Development (USAaid) funds both projects.

Journalists working from various media houses were told to refresh themselves from their daily political stories and have a new thinking by making agricultural stories a  priority.

Kapondamgaga said one of the objectives of the training was to introduce the media to various sources and types of information that would enrich reporting and information dissemination.

“The role of the media is to ensure that players in the agriculture sectors access relevant real time information,” said Kapondamgaga.

During the meeting, Kapondamgaga said the emergence of new media and other ICT based platforms has further opened up new possibilities of reaching out to farmers with information they need in order for farmers to improve their farming decisions and output.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, irrigation and Water Development, Erica Makanga asked the media to allow officials enough time to give vital information.

Maganga said agriculture remains the main driver of the Malawi economy contributing 30 % of the GDP.

Chairperson of the media representative Samuel Chunga said the workshop has presented an opportunity of not only a good relationship media will create with government and the civil society, but also iron out some issues which media and government face as they interact.

Chunga appealed for support to Malawi media.

During the session FUM assembled various experts to drill journalists on the various agriculture discipline.

Some of the experts included; Professor (Dr) Bright Mollande who is famous information scholar and  also Director of information, at the Information Ministry.

Other agricultural experts include who drilled journalists in Blantyre include; Dr Arther Mabiso from NAPAS Malawi, Dr Flora Nankhuni, Weather expert Mrs Ellina Kulululanga from Department of Climate Change, Media trainer, columnist and former employee of Nations Newspaper, Dr Jacob Jim, Professor Happy Kayuni and many other experts.

At the end of the training, journalists elected a working committee on agriculture which is headed by Paida Mpaso from Nation newspaper.

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