Techiman maize farmers cry for weighing scales to boost trading

maizeMaize farmers in Techiman and its environs have called for the introduction of weighing scales in the sale of the product, to offer them better pricing system.

To them, the introduction of the weighing-scales will ensure uniformity in trading, eliminate disputes and price-related ambiguities among trading partners.

It will also facilitate trade between the country and its West African neighbours.

Speaking at a day’s Municipal Policy Dialogue on Aflatoxins in Maize in Techiman in the Brong Ahafo, Region, Madam Agartha Tekyiakwa a farmer from Buoyem in Techiman North Municipality, expressed concerned about the absence of weighing scale which always resulted in argument between the buyer and the seller on pricing.

The Policy Dialogue was organised by the Ecumenical Association for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (ECASARD) in collaboration with Food Research Institute (FRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research with support from SEND-Ghana and the Southern African Trust, two non-governmental organisations.

Madam Tekyiakwa noted that Techiman and its environs are the largest producers of maize in the country but traders are faced with the challenge of getting the right price for their produce.

“The use of scales would minimise disputes among traders and buyers, while time used in bargaining will be reduced and the country will also be more critical on the quantity of goods exported or imported,” she added.

Aflatoxins she explained is a challenge to traders but could be overcome it if they adhere to best practices methods explained to them by the researchers from FRI of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research as well as the officers from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

Aflatoxins are a group of toxic compounds produced by fungi, which contaminate stored crops due to heat, humidity and the activities of insects and rodents.

The toxic compounds are becoming silent killers.

The appearance of aflatoxins on maize and other stable cereals are often not visible, but undermine human health.

The toxic substances found in improperly stored foods such as corn, wheat, nuts, peanut butter and dried fruits , are known to be the causative factors in the stunted growth of children, child mortality, immune suppression and child neurological impairment.

The problem also causes household food insecurity.

According to the World Health Organisation, it also has a synergistic effect with the hepatitis B virus in the etiology of liver cancer and could interact with HIV and AIDS.

Exposure to high levels of aflatoxins causes acute aflatoxicosis and is often goes unrecognised and under-reported as a cause of liver damage and cancer.

Mr George Anyebuno, Head of the Toxicology Laboratory of FRI who took the farmers through aflatoxin, it causes, effects, its control and prevention advised them to carefully sort out discoloured , damaged, in mature, and shriveled grains to significantly reduce the levels of aflatoxins in maize as well as other grains.

Nana Ankomah Frimpong, Sanaahene of Techiman Traditional Area Sanaahene who presided over the function pledged the support of the traditional authorities, to address the menace pose by aflatoxins and its related diseases.

Source: GNA

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