Kalro develops fungus to fight aflatoxin spread

Monday, November 23rd, 2020 00:00 |
Aflatoxin maize. Photo/Courtesy

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) has developed a fungus - aflasafe that contains the spread of the deadly aflatoxin in grains.

The move is major win mainly for maize farmers who for years have lost produce worth millions to aflatoxins, which are poisonous mutagens that are produced by certain molds.

Aflasafe, which is produced from sorghum, is a fungus that is biologically used to control aflatoxin in maize.

According to the director of crops in Kalro Dr Lusike Wasilwa the new fungus had proven to be effective in protecting the spread of aflatoxin in farms.

Lusike termed this a major boast to both maize and sorghum farmers in the country with production expected to increase in the coming days.

“Kalro is buying tonnes of sorghum from farmers across the country to develop aflasafe which effectively deals with aflatoxin,” she said.

Speaking in the institution farm in Naivasha, Lusike admitted that aflatoxin had wreaked havoc in farms and on the health of consumers.

“Every year farmers have lost crops worth millions of shillings due to this fungus that has also negatively impacted on human health but we expect a big change with the use of aflasafe,” she said.

On his part, Kalro Director-General Eliud Kireger confimed that they were using sorghum sourced from farmers to produce aflasafe, a fungus that biologically controlled aflatoxin in maize.

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