The Director General of Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Professor Alex Dodoo has entreated farmer groups to take advantage of the planting for food and jobs to produce quality cereals for local and international consumption.
Prof. Dodoo made the appeal at the launching of the National Aflatoxin Sensitization and Management (NASAM) Project in Wa the Upper West Region.
The project is aimed at catalyzing and sustaining an inclusive agricultural transformation by improving food safety and security through increased knowledge about Aflatoxin in respect of its impacts and management.
The two-year project is targeting five thousand farmers and two thousand value chain actors directly whilst 600 thousand house-holds will be impacted indirectly.
Prof. Dodoo observed that the high levels of Aflatoxin present in grains in Ghana is compelling many big companies to import maize into the country and stressed the necessity for local producers to take the needed measures to reduce the content of Aflatoxin in their cereals to acceptable levels.
He stated that because of aflatoxin the amount legumes and cereals we export over the past 20 years has reduced by 90% thereby affecting the income of farmers.
The Head of Mycotoxin Laboratory of GSA, Derry Dontoh explained the basics of Aflatoxin and some of the challenges associated with it.
He pointed out that when aflatoxins get into our body they can lead to liver necrosis, liver tumours and suppress our immune system as well as cause liver cancer and even children also experience stunted growth.
The Upper West Regional Coordinating Director, Gilbert Nuuri-teg thanked the GSA for organizing such an important sensitization exercise to drum home the importance of upholding standards in agricultural practices.
He said: We are very grateful that you have taken steps to come over to the region here to interact with our people and educate them on some of the issues so that together we will work toward improving the quality of goods and services in the region”.
The Director General GSA Prof. Dodoo also used the occasion to present 12 copies of the Ghana Building Code (GS1207:2018) to the RCC and the 11 MDCEs in Upper West Region and stressed the importance for all of us to abide the Code.
A Scientific Officer and Civil Engineer of GSA, Emmanuel who gave an over view of the Ghana Building Code said it is to ensure the uniformity of standards for the regulation and compliance of stakeholders in the building construction industry with respect to public safety, public health, and public welfare.
Story by Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo