The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has engaged over 100 farmers at Abesi in the Shai Osudoku District to educate them on the dangers associated with aflatoxin in grains and how to prevent its contamination in their produce.
The programme, part of a two-year National Aflatoxin Sensitisation and Management (NASAM) project supported by the Alliance for Green Revolution Africa, (AGRA), was aimed at sensitising farmers on best practices in the fight against aflatoxin.
Aflatoxins are a family of toxins produced by certain fungi that are found on crops such as maize (corn), peanut, cottonseed, and tree nuts.
The farmers were trained on good farm management practices to help them minimise or eliminate the toxins from food.
Mr George Kojo Anti, the Business Development Manager of the GSA, said more than 5,000 farmers in the Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Eastern and Bono regions have been sensitized since the programme begun in March.
He said the GSA is collaborating with key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and the University for Development Studies (UDS) to ensure the success of the effort.
Mr Anti praised the positive attitude of farmers towards the sensitization programme adding that farmers in the Volta and Oti regions were next on the line for the outreach activity.
Ms Araba Incoom, the Deputy Technical Manager at the Mycotoxin Laboratory at the GSA, urged the farmers to use quality seeds, proper ploughing and good harvesting practices to prevent aflatoxin contamination of their produce.
She also advised members of the public to treat cereals properly before consumption adding that given how fatal aflatoxins could be, the efforts of all stakeholders are needed to help deal with the challenge.