A conference and workshop on communicating food and agricultural biotechnology for agricultural professionals in Indonesia were conducted by the Indonesian Biotechnology Information Center (IndoBIC) in Denpasar and Bogor, Indonesia on 19 and 21 October 2015, respectively.
Both events were aimed to engage officials, scientists and agricultural professionals to build competence, capacity and effectiveness in communicating food and agricultural biotechnology through traditional and social media.
During the conference, invited experts presented science communication tools and best practices from regional and global experts to more effectively communicate the science and the realities of traditional, contemporary and modern agricultural technologies. These tools and best practices are expected to help farmers and consumers make informed-decisions about the utilization and benefits of the technology. The speakers were Dr Erna Maria Lokollo from Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia, Mrs Zulfiani Lubis, an Indonesian senior journalist and Mrs Dewi Hughes, an Indonesian media expert, and communication experts from the International Food Information Council (IFIC), namely: Dr Kimberly Reed, Dr Alan Mc. Hughen, Dr Andrew Benson, Helen Yu and Dr Steven Venette.
The conference, which was officially opened by Prof Dr. Ketut Budi Susrusa, Vice Rector of Udayana University, was attended by 91 participants.
The workshop, on the other hand, featured the following speakers and topics: Dr Alan Mc. Hughen from University of California Riverside on scientific misconceptions, barriers and opportunities for wider acceptance of agricultural biotechnology; Dr Steven Venette from University of Southern Mississippi on the principles and best practices in food risk communication; Dr Erna Maria Lokollo from Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia on inter-agency coordination of communications regarding biotechnology; Helen Yu, Zulfiani Lubis and Dewi Hughes on how to develop message and talking to the media especially in Indonesia perspective. The workshop was officially opened by Mr Thom Wright of USDA Foreign Agricultural Service and was attended by 95s participants.
Both events were conducted in collaboration with the International Food Information Council (IFIC), USDA Foreign Agricultural Services, Udayana University and supported by Indonesian Society for Agricultural (ISA) and The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA)