Managing aflatoxins in groundnuts

Groundnuts infested with mould causing aflatoxins. To avoid the moulds, farmers are encouraged to practice better post-harvet handling. Photo by Lominda Afedraru. 

In Summary

  • To avoid aflatoxin contamination in groundnuts farmers and processors are urged to follow good practices both at farm management and during post-harvest handling, writes Lominda Afedraru.

Aflatoxins are substances which are not visible and so it is not easy to convince consumers about its existence in food.

Most farmers, traders and consumers in the country are not aware that aflatoxin contaminates food causing health challenges on the consumers.

Contamination can occur in the field, during post-harvest handling drying and storage as well as transportation process, crop husbandry practices and soil factors among others.

There are isolated cases of crops that are vulnerable to aflatoxin which include among others cereal grains such as maize, millet, sorghum and oil seed (groundnuts) including pulses such as beans.

As such scientists breeding groundnuts have realised that aflatoxin is major challenge of the crop and they have come up with guidelines of how farmers can handle the crop especially during post-harvest handling to avoid the challenge.

The head of the groundnut breeding programme at the National Semi Arid Resources Research Institute (NaSARRI) Dr David Kalule Okello interacting with Seeds of Gold about aflatoxin challenge and best practices to curb it had this to discuss as below.

Read the original version of that article here.

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