A report released by the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA), indicates that 45% of grains produced in Uganda are contaminated with aflatoxins.
Professor Archileo Kaaya the head of Makerere University’s department of Food and Technology who was the lead researcher said yesterday that this has put millions of lives at risk.
Kaaya said 65% of the maize produced in Mubende and 45% of the maize in Kamwenge districts is contaminated with aflatoxin.
This is attributed to transportation and poor post-harvest handling at farm level.
“We sampled grains in the districts of Mubende, Kamwenge, Iganga, Mbarara and we couldn’t believe that all along, most of the grains are contaminated,” Kaaya said.
The minister for Agriculture, Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja explained that grains from low land areas are at higher risk of getting contaminated because the temperatures are quite high.
He said his ministry will soon come up with an action plan to help all government agencies fight aflatoxins.
Kaaya advised farmers to use aflasafe, a fertiliser that can be used during planting time to provide resistance of up to 80% of the yield.
“Countries like Kenya and Senegal have already started using aflasafe during planting and here we have done research and the same can apply to our soils,” Kaaya said.