The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has extended its sensitization campaign on aflatoxins to the Ashanti Region with the training of 40 Agriculture Extension Officers.
The training was under the National Aflatoxin and Sensitisation Management (NASAM) Project and aimed 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.
The nationwide project, which began in 2018, had been to every region with Ashanti Region being the last.
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.
The GSA team visited Bosomtwe, Ejisu District and Safo, a suburb of Kwabere East District, where they interacted and educated 50 grains farmers on aflatoxin.
Meanwhile, the NASAM Project team led by the Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority, Prof Alex Dodoo paid a courtesy call on the Ashanti Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Rev. John Manu.
The office of MOFA and agriculture extension officers were of immense help to the effectiveness of the implementation of the sensitisation project and a key organization in providing visibility for the work.
They continuously visit the rural farming areas to educate farmers on the management of aflatoxins through the value chain.