The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has extended its sensitization campaign on aflatoxins to stakeholders in the Western North region and surrounding communities.
The training programme for 30 Agriculture Extension Officers in Sefwi Wiawso was in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture with support from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
The training was to educate the extension officers, farmers, traders and the public on standards and the dangers and management of aflatoxins in grains.
The participants were trained on the dangers associated with Aflatoxin contamination in grains and management methods to reduce it.
They were taken through various ways Aflatoxins contaminates the grains and practices that could help to reduce the menace.
The team also visited five communities in the Western North region, including Ahokwah, Juaboso, Anhwiam, Djato and Boinza.
About 50 participants comprising farmers and traders of cereals and grains were present at the interactions in the communities.
The campaign under the National Aflatoxin and Sensitisation 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.
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.
GSA’s mission is to contribute towards the growth of the industry, protect consumers and facilitate trade through standardisation, metrology and conformity assessment.