The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, developers of Aflasafe, has signed a Technology Transfer and Licensing Agreement with Harvestfield Industries Limited, Nigeria produce and distribute Aflasafe in Nigeria.
The product, Aflasafe, customised for Nigerian market, was manufactured to protect maize and groundnuts from deadly aflatoxin.
The IITA said in a statement that the innovation for the product was born out of reports revealing aflatoxin in Nigeria’s food, with an alarming death toll and the consequent crippling economic cost.
According to the institute, the product contains 99.7 per cent of sorghum and 0.3 per cent of maize starch and friendly aflatoxin-fighting fungi.
The statement said the product was dyed with blue food colour to distinguish it from sorghum to eat.
It quoted the Deputy Director General, Partnerships for Delivery, IITA, Dr. Kenton Dashiell, as saying Aflasafe is a 100 per cent natural product and a remedy to save lives.
Dashiell stated that in the fight against aflatoxin in food, the private sector was extremely crucial in ensuring the market-ready product was available and accessible to farmers and markets.
Harvestfield said in the statement that it would sensitise farmers, millers, farm-produce aggregators, exporters and food processors to the dangers of aflatoxin and the solution Aflasafe offers.
The statement added that Harvestfield would demonstrate effective and responsible ways of using Aflasafe.
The Managing Director, Harvestfield, Mr. Martins Awofisayo, said it was the vision of Harvestfield to be the leading solution-provider for agricultural farming systems in Nigeria and the West Africa sub-region.
He said, “Aflasafe is in line with the ongoing effort by the Federal Government to ensure zero rejection of our exports, thereby earning extra foreign exchange through exports and economic diversification.”
Speaking further, Awofisayo said Harvestfield would produce and sell 1,500 metric tonnes of Aflasafe, enough to cover 150,000 hectares of maize and groundnuts.
The Managing Director, IITA, Mr. Abdou Konlambigue, said the partnership with Harvestfield was the result of a process that started in 2017.
“We are committed to ensuring this partnership is a success in order to contribute to making food safe, and to improve the competitiveness of local produce in the regional and international markets,” Konlambigue stated.