The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has extended its sensitisation campaign to disseminate information on aflatoxins to stakeholders in Cape Coast and surrounding communities in the Central Region.
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.
On Tuesday, the GSA organised a Trainer of Trainers seminar for 50 Agriculture Extension Officers on the dangers and management of the aflatoxin menace.
The team also embarked on community visits to Kwaprow, Elmina, Mankessim, Kissi and Brabedzi where they had interactions with over 250 farmers who mainly grow cereals and grains.
The education on aflatoxins continues to be an eye opener for everyone in its value chain.
Derry Dontoh, Head of Histamine and Mycotoxins lab of the GSA led the discussions on Aflatoxins management after which Mr.
Nathaniel Brako, a Scientific Officer with the GSA, presented on Aflatoxin Standards.
The programme in the Central Region is being done by 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.
GSA's mission is to contribute towards the growth of industry, protect consumers and facilitate trade through standardisation, metrology and conformity assessment.