The Mycotoxicology Society of Nigeria (MYCOTOXSON) has called on the Nigerian government to provide facilities for mycotoxin research within the country, Saturday, quoting from a communiqué released at the end of its conference and workshop in Ado-Ekiti, south west Nigeria.
According to the communiqué, the society also wants a regular supply of electricity to appropriate institutions undertaking mycotoxin research in Nigeria.
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites of fungi produced on agricultural produce often from farm during processing and storage up to the dining table.
Participants from Nigerian institutions of higher learning, the private sector, research institutes across the world took part in the conference, tagged “Fed Poly, Ado-Ekiti” 2013, with the theme: ‘Mycotoxin Hazard, Management and its regulation in Nigeria’.
Noting that some 25% of the total world produce are contaminated by mycotoxins, the conference called for concerted efforts at creating the necessary awareness on the dangers of the fungi.
“The effects of mycotoxins on human and animal health include liver and kidney disorders. They also have economic impact on local and international trade,’ said the society which further called on the federal and state governments to partner with it.
During the conference, resource persons from the Society interacted with farmers and commodity traders in local diets in order to create awareness and educate them on the dangers inherent with the consumption of mouldy foods and use of mouldy feeds.
Participants were trained on the use of modern equipment and techniques in mycotoxin analysis by a United Kingdom-based firm, Toximet Ltd., and a Nigerian company, Chromogene and Steve Nicholas (Nig) Ltd.
Representatives of R. Biopharm of Germany and a MYCOTOXSON team from the Ibadan-based International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) also ran a practical session for participants on Cultural Methods for the Identification of Aflatoxigenic Fungi.
Founded in 2006, The Mycotoxicology Society is a body of scientists in the academia, industries, regulatory agencies and other stakeholders in the food and feed sectors.
The Society carries out research and collaborates with partners outside Nigeria. As a pointer to this, eight members of the Society participated in the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) strategy Development – Stakeholder Consultation Workshop last April in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.