Wednesday, April 24, 2024

IITA, Others Organize FCI to Address Aflatoxin Management, Food Safety

The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in conjunction with other stakeholders in the agricultural sector, organized Food Convergence Innovation (FCI) to address the issue of food safety and aflatoxins management in Nigeria.

The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in conjunction with other stakeholders in the agricultural sector, organized Food Convergence Innovation (FCI) to address the issue of food safety and aflatoxins management in Nigeria.

The Project Manager of IITA BASIC II , Professor Lateef Sanni, in Abuja at the Food Convergence Innovation (FCI) Stakeholders Convention in Nigeria, noted that the program was aimed at developing strategies and documents for food hazard and aflatoxin management, as well as developing a ten-year strategic advocacy platform for addressing aflatoxin risks.

Sanni explained that consumption of aflatoxins is hazardous for human and animal health, causing liver toxicities, hepatocellular carcinoma, reduced immunity in humans and animals, reduced animal productivity, and growth retardation in children.

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According to him, there is no food security without food safety and that aflatoxin management is critical to food safety and requires great attention since it affects food and feed during crop and livestock production, transportation, storage, processing, and all food handling processes leading to consumption.

Professor Chibundu Ezekiel, who represented the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), disclosed that aflatoxin contamination is a food safety challenge ravaging many tropical countries, including Nigeria, as a result of poor food production practices.

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He highlighted that the negative impact of aflatoxins cuts across several sectors, including agriculture, health, education, and science, among others, resulting from poor food storage conditions, poor food processing conditions, and climatic conditions.

Professor Ezekiel then called for better innovative and smart interventions to tackle the menace of food safety by integrating partners for sustainable management at farm level and across agricultural supply chains and the whole society, which the FCI is simply trying to do by bringing stakeholders together.

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