Scientific trials on maize successful

Monday May 13 2019
pic maize

Arusha. Scientific trials against aflatoxin, a carcinogenic fungus found in food crops notably maize, have proved successful in Tanzania.
Trials carried on maize fields in Morogoro, Dodoma, Manyara and Mtwara regions indicated that the toxin can be tamed through the application of  Aflasafe, a natural solution of four fungal strains.
About 400 tests were conducted in 2016/17 in the four regions through the support of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) proved successful to stem the toxic fungus.
“A decrease in aflatoxin upwards of 85 per cent in the two years that Aflasafe was tested on the farmers’ fields was noted,” the organisation revealed here in a statement. Following the positive results,Aflasafe solution has now been registered by the Registrar of Pesticides, making Tanzania one of the few African countries where IITA has made a breakthrough in the application of the technology.
Efforts are now underway to commercialise local production and distribution of the solution “to efficiently and rapidly reach all corners of Tanzania,” said the organisation’s communication consultant Catherine Njuguna. She revealed this during  the signing of an agreement between IITA and the Arusha-based  A to Z Textile Mill, granting the latter a five-year contract to  produce the solution for application in the farms.
Under the deal, IITA will provide business development and technical assistance to A to Z under the Aflasafe Technology Transfer and Commercialization Initiative.  She said IITA has conducted Aflasafe TZ01 market demand, profitability of manufacturing and distribution and identified all pre-requisites for aggressive commercialisation.