TBS drills cereal traders, exporters and processors

25Nov 2021
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
TBS drills cereal traders, exporters and processors

THE Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has started offering training to traders, exporters and processors of maize and groundnuts on best ways to preserve the crops against aflatoxins, which is risk to human health.

The training are offered through the Tanzania Initiative for Preventing Aflatoxin Contamination (TANPACK) project that targets 18 districts and 10 regions in the country.

The training was launched yesterday in Kiteto District in Manyara Region and was attended by 120 participants. The Ministry of Agriculture and TBS have been tasked with providing the training.

Addressing journalists about the project and its targeted beneficiaries, TBS Head of ICT and Statistics Unit, Jabir Abdi the project will cover  Kondoa, Chemba, Bahi, Kongwa, Babati, and Kiteto districts.

Other districts are Namtumbo, Newala, Nanyumbu, Nzega, Urambo, Kibondo, Kasulu, Buchosa, Bukombe, Itilima, Kilosa and Gairo. Regarding the existing regions in those districts, Abdi said they are Dodoma, Manyara Ruvuma, Mtwara, Tabora, Kigoma, Mwanza, Geita, Simiyu and Morogoro.

Abdi cited the benefits of training as aimed at protecting human health, facilitating the trade for maize and groundnuts, protecting livestock health and facilitating food security.

He pointed out other benefits that would withstand competition in the domestic, regional and global markets.

Kiteto District Commissioner, Mbaraka Alhaji Batenga, commended the government's decision to introduce the training, as food is a very important need to people and to the development of the country.

However, he said food security faces various challenges including food contamination that can result in Aflatoxin which causes health and even economic harm.

Batenga said Aflatoxin mainly affects maize and groundnuts which are an important part of the country's diet.

"For that reason we all need to focus on Aflatoxin control strategies so that our food remains safe for all time," Batenga stressed.

He explained that he recognizes the role of traders, processors and exporters in general and their contribution to the government and has prepared this special training for them to build their capacity for Aflatoxin control.

He said food security being given priority in protecting the health, society and economy of the country, as it was an important criterion for trade nationally and internationally, as unsafe food causes health risks and deaths for consumers as well as economic impacts.

He urged the stakeholders to adhere to the key recommendations of health and nutrition experts to control Aflatoxin in the diet, including adhering to good agricultural practices as recommended by experts, harvesting and removing maize and groundnuts immediately after ripening and drying the harvested crops before storage.

The other thing is to avoid accumulating crops directly in the barns, making sure they store the crop properly and avoid pests, animals, extreme heat and humidity.

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