26 July 2014

Kenya: High Aflatoxin in Kenya Milk

The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute has said there are high levels of aflatoxin in milk produced in the country. The institute blamed a move by farmers to feed their livestock on rotting maize.

Kari assistant director Dr Foustine Wandera said the most affected product is milk, which has high levels of heavy metals and drug reside. He said Kari has embarked on a study to find the extent of the problem and a solution.

"The high levels of aflatoxin in our products will affect our access to the international markets," Wandera said. He identified mastitis as one of the biggest challenges facing dairy farmers, saying the disease affects production.

"Kari will release a mastitis kit, which will make it easier to detect the disease in livestock," he said. The assistant director addressed the press at Dairy Training Institute, Naivasha, during a dairy farmers open day.

Kari seed expert Dr Joseph Kamau said for the first time the country has produced certified rice seeds. He said they have released six new varieties of rice under the Eastern Africa Agricultural Productivity Project.

Kamau said for years farmers have been recycling seeds, a move which has affected production. He said plans are underway to get more seeds from Tanzania.

"For years farmers have recycled rice seeds adversely affecting the quality and quantity of rice production," he said. Agriculture Secretary Felix Koskei said the government will start exporting milk by 2017.

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