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IITA develops ‘Aflasafe’ to preserve maize, groundnut

An innovative product, Aflasafe, for use by maize and groundnut farmers has been developed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). 

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The product was on display at one of the exhibition stands at the ongoing AgrikExpo and NABG Conference in Abuja.

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The exhibitor, Mr. Tunde Raji, told Daily Trust that Aflasafe could reduce the incidence of aflatoxins to between 88% and 99%.

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The use of chemicals to preserve our grains, especially beans always leads to aflatoxin contamination and the banning of the country’s beans in Europe.

“When you apply Aflasafe in your farm during planting, it will take care of aflatoxin at planting and also during storage, so we are working with some relevant agencies to make sure it is available,” he said.

Aflasafe, a fungi, comes in 2.5kg bags that cost N2,000 each, and works by displacing the toxic aspergillus fungi responsible for causing aflatoxin contamination.

On its application, Raji noted that farmers have to use 10kg per hectare which must be applied once by broadcasting on moist soil, so as to encourage sporulation (spore germination) of the applied Aflasafe. 

For groundnut, he said it must be applied between 30 to 35 days after planting while for maize it should be applied two weeks before flowering. He confirmed that the institute is currently working with the Jigawa State Government on 35,000ha of groundnut for export to international markets.

 Daily Trust reports that Aflasafe looks like seed sorghum and was developed with the support of the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS). 

 

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