State heightens aflatoxin fight with farm input distribution

Thursday, January 16th, 2020 12:00 |
Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga at a past event. Photo/PD/FILE

Farmers can now fight aflatoxin in food crops, thanks to a government initiative to strengthen marketing and distribution of Aflasafe, a natural product that fights aflatoxin.

Agriculture Principal Secretary Hamadi Boga confirmed that the government has contracted a biological crop protection company — Koppert Biological Systems — to distribute the farm input to all farmers in the country.

Boga said  Aflasafe, a new technology developed a few years back to fight Aflatoxin in maize, groundnuts, and other food crops will be sold to farmers at Sh201 a kilogramme.

 “For long farmers mainly the small-scale, have been grappling with high presence of aflatoxin in maize more than the standard level of parts per billion (PPP) of 10ppp in Kenya and 4ppp in European Union.

The new technology has been achieved after intensive research work of over 15 years, going forward we expect the country will benefit from safe food,” he said.

Health experts and local scientists have blamed the high presence of the aflatoxin to liver cancer, suppresses the immune systems, and retards growth and development of children, among other health problems.

Health risks

In a speech read on his behalf by Ministry’s Director of Research and Innovation, Dr Oscar Magenya, in Nairobi  while unveiling the distribution of Aflasafe,  Boga said  the move will have the associated benefit of reducing health risks of consuming aflatoxin-contaminated food. 

The distribution of the farm input, Boga added, will shield the country against economic burden of managing resultant chronic illnesses such as cancer.   -KNA

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