Ugandan farmers have been urged to be cautious in planting, harvesting and preparation of different foods especially grains, to avoid producing food with deadly toxins.
While addressing journalists in Kampala, Charles Sembatya from the Ministry of Agriculture revealed that food crops such as maize and ground nuts if not handled well, may contain Aflatoxins, which are very dangerous to both humans and animals
Aflatoxins are produced by fungi found on cereal crops, mostly in warm and humid regions.
Sembatya says that these toxins accumulate in cereals as a result of poor storage and poor food handling.
Farmers and other agricultural workers may be exposed by inhaling dust generated during the handling and processing of contaminated crops and feeds.
Such exposure has been linked to increased risk of liver cancer.
Sembatya warns that such contaminated cereals must not be processed into animal feeds because as their bi products may in the long run may affect people’s health
The Agriculture ministry, he said, is currently in the process of putting in place modern food storage facilities to prevent food contamination
Professor William Kyampaire from Makerere University says it is the responsibility of every Ugandan to ensure that they demand high quality food
“Everybody should keenly look at all cereals especially ground nuts to ascertain that they are in good condition before consuming them” he said.
In 2004, 120 children died in Kenya after consuming Posho processed from maize with Aflatoxins.