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Getting our message to journalists

Maize breeder, Dan Makumbi and writer-editor, Anne Wangalachi of CIMMYT in Nairobi, attended a workshop organized by the Reuters Foundation and CGIAR Media Unit on “Reporting Climate Change in Africa” this past Thursday. Thirteen journalists working in both print and electronic media participated in the training workshop. They came from Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia and Uganda. The purpose was to sensitize and educate them about current issues surrounding climate change and particularly its implications for livelihoods and food security in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dan Makumbi gave a well-received presentation on Drought Tolerant Maize (DTM) which drew a lot of interest, particularly with respect to potential yield improvement and fertilizer x DTM interactions. Also the issue of who had responsibility for creating awareness of new DTM varieties with farmers was raised. It was agreed that the journalists can greatly help with this. Many of the journalists are expected to write stories based on what they learned at the workshop.