Extension workers and agribusinesses receive aflatoxin management training in Ghana’s Ashanti and Eastern regions
It was moment of learning, capacity strengthening, and networking for participants at the regional training of trainers (ToT) workshop held in Ghana’s Ashanti and Eastern regional capitals of Kumasi and Koforidua in March 2019.
As part of its Aflasafe technology transfer strategy, IITA, in partnership with the Green Innovation Center (GIC) of GIZ and Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture, has embarked on a ToT on aflatoxin and its management for Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) and agribusinesses across seven major maize/groundnut/sorghum-producing regions. This is to strengthen the capacity of AEAs and field officers of agribusinesses on the risk of aflatoxin contamination and improved technologies for its management including the use of Aflasafe.
The training premiered in the Ashanti region, where the Regional Director of Agriculture, Rev. John Manu, officially opened the 2-day workshop, which took place from 21 to 22 March at the Joyflux Hotel. He highlighted the importance of the training subject matter, emphasizing its timeliness as it complements current government efforts to strengthen the capacity of change agents (AEAs) in disseminating information on improved agricultural technologies to farmers. Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) is the flagship program of the government to achieve this.
Rev. Manu was particularly excited about Aflasafe, as he was personally involved at the inception study that resulted in this novel product for aflatoxin management in Ghana.
Similarly, in the Eastern region, the Regional Director of Agriculture, Mr Henry Crenstil Jnr opened the workshop, which was held on 25 and 26 March. For the objectives of the ToT to be achieved, he encouraged the participants to actively engage in the training and charged his District Directors to ensure that the trained AEAs become resource persons for downstream training on the subject matter in their respective districts.
The workshops in Ashanti and Eastern regions had in attendance 29 and 28 participants, respectively, comprising AEAs, lead farmers, maize aggregators, representatives from agribusinesses, and maize traders associations.
Following both trainings, the workshop participants said they had increased knowledge on the basics of aflatoxin contamination in crops and its management particularly, using Aflasafe as part of a package of good agricultural practices.
GIC Regional Coordinator, Mr Christian Adjei facilitated the workshops and was assisted by Eric Mensah for the Ashanti region and David Darkoh for the Eastern region. The training will continue through the coming months in the Brong Ahafo and Volta regions as well as three Northern regions.