GSA extends Aflatoxin and Nixtamalisation Sensitization to Bono East 

The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has extended its sensitization campaign to disseminate information on aflatoxins to stakeholders in Techiman in the Bono East District.

The campaign under the National Aflatoxin and Sensitization Management (NASAM) Project is to provide solutions to combat the aflatoxin problem.

Supported by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and her partners, the NASAM project aims to catalyse and sustain an inclusive agricultural transformation by improving food safety and security through increased knowledge about aflatoxins, its impact and management.

On Tuesday, more than 500 food processors and farmers in Navrongo, Zuarungu and its environs were targeted in the sensitization meetings.

The Techiman programme is also targeting 500 farmers and value chain actors.

The programme in the Bono East Region is being done in partnership with the Embassy of Mexico in Ghana, the University of Energy and Natural Resources, IITA, MOFA, FDA, Farm Radio International, Nestle and the National Steering Committee on Aflatoxin Control.

Aflatoxin refers to fungal contamination, which mostly occurs in foods such as groundnuts, rice, tree nuts, cocoa beans, spices and other dried foods, in areas with hot and humid climates before and after harvest.

Aflatoxin, contamination remains a major food safety concern in maize and groundnut-based foods.

High levels of aflatoxin present in grains produced in Ghana led to post-harvest losses, farmers selling their grains at lower prices and the inability of Ghanaian grains and derived food products to be sold on the international market.

High aflatoxin levels also affect the health of consumers as it is known to be the cause of some diseases.

With emphasis on mitigation and prevention of aflatoxins in foods, Mr.Derry Dontoh of the GSA will be leading discussions on Aflatoxins standards and management.

Mr Aldo Rosale, an expert from the international Maize and Wheat improvement Centre (CIMMYT), will introduce a process that has been proven to reduce the aflatoxin content in white maize known as Nixtamalization.

The Mexican Government is partnering the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) to introduce Nixtamalisation technology in Ghana to reduce levels of aflatoxin in maize.

The technology is an ancient Mexican technology for processing white corn, which significantly has the potential of reducing public health and food security challenges associated with the consumption of corn contaminated with aflatoxins and improving economic growth.

Prof Francis Amagloh of the University for Development Studies will touch on complementary feeding as a way of reducing human exposure to aflatoxins.

GSA’s mission is to contribute towards the growth of industry, protect consumers and facilitate trade through standardization, metrology and conformity assessment.
Source: GNA

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