TANZANIA – Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has conducted a three-day training to entrepreneurs on how to control aflatoxin in maize, groundnuts, spices and its products.
In his opening remarks, the Tanga Regional Commissioner, Adam Malima hailed TBS for their efforts to enhance public awareness on quality of goods and standards, particularly cereals and spices.
He said organizing the training to the entrepreneurs by TBS was of paramount importance in efforts to curb contamination of aflatoxin in cereals.
“Food safety is a fundamental component in protecting health of the people and in penetrating domestic and global trade, thus contributing to economic development. Unhealthy food may cause health problems as well as huge effects to the country’s economy,” he said.
Malima stated that aflatoxin in cereals is one of the challenges facing food safety, causing health problems to people and the economy.
“Maize and groundnuts are major cereals consumed by majority of the people in the country, but they are highly prone to contamination by aflatoxin,” he said, noting that some studies show that aflatoxin also contaminates spices.
The Commissioner advised TBS to make the training programmes more sustainable, particularly in councils in collaboration with the councils’ Executive Directors.
According to Hamis Mwanasala, the TBS Research and Training Manager, the training was an important opportunity to provide education on how to curb aflatoxin as a way of protecting the health of the people and making business competitive.
TBS has conducted similar trainings in various districts, namely Kiteto, Kilosa, Gairo, Dodoma and Kongwa, where entrepreneurs dealing with groundnuts and maize were equipped on how to control aflatoxin.
Tanzania is a leading producer of maize and groundnuts in the East African region, accounting for 2% of world production, according to Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). They are the major staple food, and it is estimated that maize contributes to around 35% of the average daily calorie intake, making up nearly half of dietary requirements.
Tanzania Initiative for Preventing Aflatoxin Contamination
TBS offers these training through the Tanzania Initiative for Preventing Aflatoxin Contamination (TANIPAC) that targets 18 districts and 10 regions in the country.
TANIPAC employs an integrated approach in the maize and groundnut value chains to minimize aflatoxin occurrence in the food system, leading to improved food safety and security and ultimately to improved health and nutrition, agricultural productivity, and trade.
Through its infrastructure development component, the project rehabilitates the National Bio-control Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, establishes a post-harvest center of excellence for grains and a central agriculture reference laboratory for enabling mycotoxin control along the food production and supply chain, and constructs and equips two warehouses in Zanzibar and 12 on the Mainland with bio-control measures.
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