7 billion is a lot of people to feed , our world population right now. According to the UN , with high birth rates in developing nations, we will need to feed more than 9 billion people by 2050.
On the 21st January, ABSF paid a courtesy call to the NBA to discuss and explore on areas of collaboration in 2014. Among some of the issues discussed was the window of opportunity for amending the labelling regulations, the progress of the packaging regulations, the possibility on partnering with NBA to enhance the M&E framework as well as how to collaborate in the upcoming NBA conference in August. The team also got to discuss the issue of the ban and what stakeholders should do in as far as making submissions to the taskforce.
ABSF invited partners to a half day meeting for preparation on submissions to the taskforce on the 19th February 2014 at Jacaranda Hotel. The meeting aimed to specifically address the key messages that need to be presented to the taskforce, discuss on how to engage Cabinet Secretaries, identify who should play which role and present on what, as well as identify the support needed by various stakeholders with intentions to make presentations to the taskforce.
On 25th of March, ABSF coordinated stakeholders to share roles aimed at reaching out to key influencers around the taskforce on GM food imports. This has lead to one-on-one meetings between pro-biotech stakeholders and members of the taskforce which has in turn seen some taskforce members promise to strictly go by the available scientific evidence. Stakeholders have also provided most of the documents/literature required for presentations during at the public hearing.
ABSF led and supported the youth in four meetings between January and March as they endeavoured to refine the Youth Biotechnology Awareness Strategy as well as plan for the Kenya Youth Biotechnology Network (KYBNET) Congress which has been slated for 23rd – 26th June. We also assisted the youth (especially recent biotechnology graduates) in refining their messages to the taskforce on the GM food ban.
ABSF presented at the Kenyatta University Biosciences Society career day whose theme was dubbed one health, a concept that acknowledges the collaborative efforts of multi-disciplines to enhance human and environmental health. ABSF’s presentation focused on how biotechnology contributes to ‘one health’ and we got an opportunity to inform students about the various ongoing research projects.
ABSF represented biotechnology stakeholders at the Eldoret show held between the 5th and 8th March 2014. Our team disseminated IEC materials and addressed concerns and queries raised by the public. We also got a chance to administer a short perception survey which we intend to use in enhancing our awareness and outreach efforts.
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