Former president of Ghana John Kufuor has asked African States to review their agricultural policies to reap maximum productivity in the agriculture sector currently struggling.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 12th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (Caadp) Partnership Platform Meeting currently being in Ghana, Kufuor said policies should be geared to transform agriculture and mitigate against adverse impacts of aflatoxin.
He said: “Our governments need to show awareness using policy to fight aflatoxin because if we leave it to farmers most of them own very little land and are illiterate to comprehend some issues which can lead to having little impacts but strong leadership can boost research programme and increase budget support to fight against aflatoxin.”
Kufour further said incorporating extension services to reach to farmers is another area which can help lessen the impacts.
“We need to involve the whole food supply chain to fight aflatoxin. We need to put mechanism and surveillance and the problem may be tacked down the value chain all the way to the market, at every point. Solid mechanism can enforce good standards and the outcome can be reflected in form of trade, quality food, for international trade,” he said.
On her part, Sandy Thomas, director of Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, said 30 percent of live cancers in Africa are due to aflatoxin levels in grain.
She also said 25 percent of Africa’s food crops are affected by aflatoxin and about $670 million is lost annually due to the diseases.
“The process of preparing foods are changing, becoming much more complicated and longer and so many more people processing and this has become an issue on the food safety, hence the need to partner with each other in order to mitigate issues of aflatoxin,
“Drying facilities to reduce contamination and set the safety food as a priority, monitor the training and its implementation is key and, these figures can actually be reduced hence increase food production,” said Thomas.
This year’s Caadp, which has attracted participants from across the African continent and beyond, is being held under the theme Innovative Financing and Renewed Partnership to Accelerate Implementation of Caadp.