Farmers urged to ensure grains are well dried

Farmers should dry their grains well to stem the increasing cases of aflatoxin contamination.

University of Nairobi don Prof. Sheila Okoth says better storage of grains to prevent the growth of moulds would also help prevent aflatoxin contamination.

She is also calling for equipping of laboratories in institutions of higher learning for early detection of the fungi.

Aflatoxin contamination has been known to impact heavily on the agriculture as well as the health sector.

While it causes post-harvest losses in agriculture it is classified as a class one carcinogen that causes liver cancer.

University of Nairobi don Prof. Sheilla Okoth attributes the increase in cases of aflatoxin contamination to climate change that has been compounded by the fall armyworms that it makes it easy for the fungus to penetrate the grains.

She is calling for a coordinated approach in controlling contamination as well as equipping laboratories at institutions of higher learning to enable fast detection and control of the toxin.

She is advising farmers to ensure better storage of grain at below 13% moisture so as to prevent the growth of moulds that provide a breeding ground for the toxin.

Kenya loses 30% of food harvested to post harvest losses.



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