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Traders discuss control, prevention of Aflatoxin

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Grain Trader s and Processors Association of Malawi in connection with Texas A and M University are conducting trainings for members of the Association on how to measure the quantity of Aflatoxin, a chemical which is found in grains.

According to Tim Herrman, professor at the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas University who is leading the training, excess Aflatoxin in grains can cause Liver Cancer and stunted growth, among other challenges.

Harrman was speaking on Monday in Blantyre during a day-long workshop.

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He said there has to be the right amount of Aflatoxin in grains for it to be consumable and also to meet international standards.

“Aflatoxin is a toxic compound that is found in grains, with time it usually causes Liver Cancer, suppressed immune system and stunted growth, so it is a toxic whose amount has to be regulated. And this workshop we are training these people on how to do that and at the end of it all they will receive a certificate as qualified Aflatoxin analyst,” he said.

However, he could not be drawn to give the extent of the problem in the country.

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“I have been to Malawi twice and I cannot really give a clear picture of how intense the problem is here but all the same, this is the first step to regulating the problem which will also help the country to have as much exports as possible,” he said.

Chairperson for the Association Grace Mijiga Mhango said the training will help the members of the Association to have skills on controlling Aflatoxin.

“It is very important to have these skills because in this country we rely on maize and this being in the grains category it is important to know how we can prevent some of these problems that are caused by Aflatoxin,” she said.

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