The East African Community secretariat has called upon regional governments to provide more funds to fight against aflatoxins found in many grain exports.
The secretariat said it only operates on a budget of $1 million for awareness and other projects. To get rid of the problem, it said, more funds must be provided.
This revelation was made at a meeting in Kampala aimed at finding a regional strategy and action plan against aflatoxins.
Aflatoxins are poisonous substances produced by certain kinds of fungi (moulds) that are found naturally all over the world; they can contaminate food crops and pose a serious health threat to humans and livestock.
According to a study done within the region, aflatoxins have reduced the region’s economic growth by 0.26% and cost counties revenues of up to $37 million.
Dr. Anna Rose Okurut, the commissioner, Animal Health in the ministry of Agriculture said in the problem of aflatoxins is sizable in the East African region.
And this has reduced incomes of the farmers who feed their animals on maize products.
She cautioned famers to look for the yellow color in the soft parts of the animals.
Dr Julius Sserumaga, a senior research scientist at National Crops Resources Research Institute said there is a lot of work which has been done in this area of controlling aflatoxins.
Fahari Marwa, the Principal Agricultural Economist at the EAC secretariat said there was need for partner states to provide more funding to fight aflatoxins.