Farmers involved in the production of grains are to benefit from a technology to help fight aflatoxin, which has for years posed as a hazard to their activities.
This follows the latest collaboration by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and the Embassy of Mexico. The three stakeholders will sensitize farmers on how to combat aflatoxin.
Aflatoxins are a fungus that contaminates food commodities such as maize, groundnut, chilli pepper, rice among other crops.
Speaking at a workshop in Accra on Monday, May 27, 2019, Charles Amoako, Deputy Director General of GSA, noted that aflatoxins pose a serious threat on the health of both humans and animals and stressed the need to address the canker abruptly.
The day’s workshop which was on the theme: “Aflatoxin Sensitisation: Standards, Public Health and Nixtamalisation,” sought to disseminate information and provide solutions under the National Aflatoxin Sensitisation and Management (NASAM) project.
The initiative would among other things help farmers eliminate post-harvest losses and enhance food crop production in the country for the international market.
The project organized by the GSA in collaboration with the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has started in some part of the Northern Region.
The aflatoxins, he said, could cause immune-system suppression, gastrointestinal dysfunction, growth retardation, liver disease, and cancer.
To combat the deadly fungus, Mr. Amoako indicated that his outfit was working closely with the Mexican embassy as they had made strides in fighting the canker in their country with the help of the Nixtamalisation technology.
On her part, Mrs. Maria de Los Angeles Arriola, Ambassador of Mexico in Ghana, expressed her outfit’s readiness to help eliminate the fungus.
She observed that the aflatoxins could affect the country’s agricultural sector hence the need to adopt measures to eradicate it to enable the country meet the demands of the international market to boost the country’s economy.
Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry stated that aflatoxins have a tremendous impact on human and animal health, therefore, his outfit was ready to collaborate with GSA and AGRA to fight the canker.
He noted that the sensitization programme came at a time that the president was working hard to improve agriculture, adding that “the government has made agricultural pivot of Ghana’s economic and social development.”
Mr. Ahenkorah indicated that for the country to make meaningful change in the lives of people, the effort should be directed to agriculture, saying the government has brought initiatives like Planting for Food and Jobs, hence the need for farmers to know how to manage aflatoxins to increase yields to sustain the economy.