EAC requests $200,000 from USAid for aflatoxin law

Thursday March 12 2020

Farmers put out their maize to dry.

Farmers put out their maize to dry. The amount of harvest that’s affected by aflatoxins varies each year, depending on the weather. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GERALD ANDAE
By GERALD ANDAE
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The East African Community (EAC) has asked the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) for $200, 000 financial assistance to fund the proposed Aflatoxin Bill.

Fahari Marwa, Principle Agriculture Economist at the EAC, on Thursday said the proposal for the funding of the Bill had been submitted to the US agency adding that if adopted will help curb the menace of food insecurity and cancer cases emerging from the toxic fungi.

“This is a massive project that requires funding and we have already approached USAid for funding assistance,” said Mr Marwa.

He also added that lack of provisions on aflatoxin management in the existing policy and regulatory framework had impacted negatively on the fight against the poison.

Marwa was speaking during a meeting on implementation of the EAC regional strategy and action plan on aflatoxin prevention control in Nairobi.

The meeting, already held in other member states, is aimed at coming up with measures to curb the effects that aflatoxin causes to both human and crops.

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EAC pointed out that financial challenges had become one of the major constraints in coming up with the mechanism to combat the threat that has seen some countries ban maize from member states over high aflatoxin levels.

In 2017 EAC council of ministers agreed that each member state should set aside funds that will be specifically used in implementing the aflatoxin strategy in the region.
The bloc has already agreed on the use of Aflasafe product—a biological control product for fighting aflatoxin—currently being manufactured in Kenya.

Other countries in EAC that have opened a manufacturing plant for Aflasafe include Tanzania and Rwanda.

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