A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah has stressed the need for an internal intervention in eradicating Aflatoxin in cereals and vegetables. His comment comes after the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, placed an indefinite ban on the export of all leafy vegetables to the international market.
Speaking at a National Aflatoxin Sensitization forum in Accra, Mr. Ahenkorah said the decision is a step in the right direction as Ghana risks being banned from the European market if measures are not put in place to correct the wrongs.
He urged the Ghana Standards Authority, GSA and other regulatory agencies to collaborate to help eradicate Aflatoxins in farm produce to improve the country’s export sector.
The Deputy Director General of GSA, Charles Amoako, indicated that the institution is engaging researchers and collaborating with the Mexican Embassy on a nixtamalization technology to help control the organic menace. “The institute must conduct research to generate data on the incident of aflatoxin in Ghana, also we must have a scientific basis that the technology is effective in the reduction of aflatoxin.” He added.
Meanwhile, the Ambassador of Mexico to Ghana, Maria de los Angeles Arriola, elaborated that the nixtamalization technology will help protect human health against harmful organisms and ensure food security.
She said Aflatoxins are poisonous carcinogens that are produced by molds which grow in soil, decaying vegetation and grains. They are regularly found in staple commodities such as corn, groundnuts, rice, cassava, sorghum, wheat, maize and a variety of species.
The nixtamalization process is an ancient process used in Mexico. They use limestone that make an alkaline solution which kills the aflatoxins in cereals.
Story by: Richard Annor Amponsem