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Government Rolls out Roadmap to Promoting Use of Aflasafe

The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has partnered with Koppert Biological systems to promote the use of Aflasafe- (KE) product among farmers.

Aflasafe is a safe natural solution to the problem of aflatoxin and is known to cut aflatoxin levels in maize and groundnuts by 80 percent down to safe levels.

Speaking today after a strategic meeting with stakeholders, NCPB Managing Director Joseph Kimote said it is important to control the contamination of aflatoxin before it infects the crop to ensure that food is safe for human consumption.

“Recently, NCPB had to destroy in conjunction with public health almost 125,000, 50 kgs bags of maize which were infested by aflatoxin which is a great loss in terms of food and funds used to buy maize”, he said .

The 124,625 of fifty (50) Kg bags of maize each would have cost the government an estimated Ksh190 million. It had been in NCPB stores since 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 production years.

“We want to encourage our farmers to use aflasafe so that we don’t have to destroy food again and I want to urge other partners to join in and we promote the product”, he said

Kimote explained that the country follows the aflatoxin standards required and recommended level of  10 parts per billion (PPB) and  with Aflasafe which is produced by KALRO and being marketed by Koppert , they  will ensure the   product reaches the farmer to address issues of aflatoxin  and ensure citizens consume food that is healthy and of quality.

The product he added can now be reached at the NCPB  29 warehouses in Eastern, central, North rift, western and central regions where it is being retailed Ksh 201 for one kilogramme and Ksh 402 for the 2kgs enough to be supplied in a half an acre.

“We have isolated the aflatoxin hotspots in the country and our focus will be on those areas first where we believe the infestation is higher than others regions and we progressively move to the entire country”, he said.

Kimote further noted that farmers should be able to apply aflasafe at the right time  and right levels in order to  mitigate the problem, thus the roll out of the marketing programme together with the KALRO, Koppert and UPL in the next few days will see the targeted farmers  be it small holder, large scale and also middle level be eligible to use the product.

“The awareness programme starts now  and we want to ensure we communicate effectively  to all the farmers to be able to understand the benefits of using aflasafe even from a commercial perspective”, Kimote said  .

 

Regional Manager of the Koppert biological systems company Charles Macharia said aflasafe product requires special handling during application by farmers to get the results and that is why as stakeholders they want to reach out to farmers, avail the product in order to manage issue of aflatoxin so that Kenyans can ultimately enjoy safe and healthy food.

“We have been able to procure 90 metric tonnes of aflasafe from KALRO and we will also collaborate to train farmers how to use the product in order to produce free aflatoxin maize”, Macharia said.

The Presence of aflatoxin in food crops mainly maize has been a big challenge in the country leading to huge loss of the commodity. NCPB plans to increase promotion campaigns of Aflasafe during the upcoming short rains as farmers prepare to plant their crop.

 

By Wangari Ndirangu

 

 

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