The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)-developed crop protection and treatment product, IITA AFLASAFE, is going commercial following the successes recorded on full field trials nationwide.
This has been found to greatly reduce rejection of the nation’s agricultural produce intended for export, especially groundnut and maize. As a result, Harvestfield Industries, a private sector partner has been selected for its commercialisation in Nigeria.
The company has commenced a programme to show farmers how to apply the product for effective control of Aflatoxin in maize and groundnut.
A total of seven technical teams were constituted comprising of scientists from IITA, Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA), National Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS), Partnership For Aflatoxin Control In Africa (PACA) and also involving Agricultural Extension Officers from states and council areas in the six geo-political regions of the country.
Agricultural produce are mostly contaminated with Aflatoxins, which are poisonous chemicals produced by certain mold fungi (Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus). These fungi resides in the soil and prevalent in the environment. Aflatoxins’ cause diseases such as cancer, hepatitis, stuntness, and suppression of human immunity, low productivity and high mortality rates in livestock and poultry.
Maize and groundnuts are infected on the field before and/or after harvest. Any produce or product that contains above 14PPb of Aflatoxins are considered dangerous for human and livestock consumption and therefore, rejected.
AFLASAFE is available for purchase at all the 18 field offices of Harvestfield and at Greenhouses (Super Warehouse) of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, located in all the states.
This farmers’ sensitisation exercise on how to apply AFLASAFE is being organised in maize and or groundnut growing selected 100 communities with a target of training minimum of 100 farmers per location.