- Officials blame poor post-harvest handling mechanisms for contamination
- 'From the samples we have taken so far since the beginning of the year, we have established that the maize is full of aflatoxin.'
The Kenya Manufacturers Association and the Agriculture Sector Network have called for a thorough inspection of imported maize to check against aflatoxin.
The manufacturers on Monday said legislation was needed to effectively control cereals attacked by aflatoxin from being imported into the country.
“We are concerned about why there is so much aflatoxin in the Kenyan food chain, especially in Nairobi. We have voiced our concerns to the government as key stakeholders in the agriculture sector,” Asnet chairman Bimal Kantaria said.
He spoke during a meeting with manufacturers and the EAC Principal Secretary Kevit Desai.
“A lot of the food for the animals being manufactured is full of aflatoxin. Recently a bad incident was witnessed where a security company in Nairobi lost 100 dogs because they ate food ridden with aflatoxin,” Kantaria said.
The head of Kenya Small and Companion Animal Veterinary Association Derrick Chibeu said there have been many reports of deaths particularly of dogs who are fed on some of the foods believed to have been contaminated.
"The food gets contaminated during post-harvest handling. We are compiling a report on the number of deaths as a result of feeding on aflatoxin-contaminated food," Chibeu said.
The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service boss at the Busia border Edmond Momanyi admitted that most of the maize imported from Uganda has been found to have high levels of aflatoxin.
“From the samples we have taken so far since the beginning of the year, we have established that the maize is full of aflatoxin,” Momanyi said.
The Kenya Bureau of Standards head of quality inspection Ahmed Amin said maize produced locally are also contaminated due to poor post-harvest handling.
He said that some farmers spread their maize on the tarmac or pavements along highways because they want the cereals to dry faster.
“The fight against aflatoxin should be a collective responsibility so that we can protect the millers and consumers. We need to have many laboratories and ensure that no maize comes into Kenya without undergoing scrutiny,” Amin said.