By Roseline Okakah
Farmers have been sensitized about Mycotoxins which has been identified as a major factor hindering the acceptance of Nigeria foods at the international Market.
The President of the Mycotoxicology Society of Nigeria Dr. Mrs Yemisi Jeff Agboola gave the information at the 16th annual conference and workshop of the society held in Akure recently.
Dr. Agboola described mycotoxins as the prevalent food contaminants in the world which affects both the economy and people’s health as well as animals.
According to her, mycotoxin has been linked to public health issues such as cancer, death and diminishes animal productivity.
She said her association is partnering with reputable organisations including medical professionals in combating the menace through raising awareness about the public health implications of mycotoxin contamination.
The Vice Chancellor of University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Prof Adesegun Fatusi, said the Mycotoxicology Society of Nigeria is an association that is laudable to improve the health of the nation.
The Vice Chancellor who was represented by the Director of Gender and Health Equity, UNIMED, Prof Augustina Nireti Duyilemi said the university is carrying out research that can bring solution to food contaminants as this will be beneficial to the nation economically and improve the health of the people.
Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Banji Awolowo Ajaka appreciated the organizers of the conference and urged the participants to take the programme serious, saying it has to do with human health adding that food is important for healthy living.
In his reaction, the state Chairman of Ondo state Agricultural Commodities Association, Mr Gbenga Obaweya said the programme has shed light on the impact of mycotoxins as it pertains to farmers and agropreneurs in food cultivation and food processing so as to do their best to avoid contamination of food from the farm and even in the process of packaging to avoid the injury that it can cause to the people and animals that they raise.
Obaweya urged the farmers to pay attention to the training and to learn as much as they can so that they can have more enlightenment because the knowledge that will be gained from the conference if rightly applied, will make a difference.
Another farmer, Mr Taiwo Oluwaseun said the conference is beneficial to the farmers because they will be able to manage mycotoxins to limit the effect that it can have on plants and animals in the farm and the knowledge gained from the conference will be disseminated to other farmers who are not present.
Activities at the event include tributes to one of the founding fathers of the association, Late Prof Olusegun Atanda, presentation of award of recognition, presentation of 250 euro grant to the best oral presenter from the international society for Mycotoxicology, exhibition of products , trainings among many others.