Gambian groundnuts are used to feed wild animals in Europe, according to the principal scientific officer at Food Safety and Quality Authority of The Gambia.
In an interview with QTV, Lamin Jaiteh disclosed: “The groundnut we export to the European market are exported as wild animal feed. Not animal feed, but wild animal feed. That shows the level of contamination in our groundnuts.”
According to him, Gambian groundnuts have been affected by aflatoxins, which are a naturally occurring but highly toxic substance caused by fungi that grow on crops.
Lamin explained that contaminations happen in The Gambia mainly as a result of poor pre- and post-harvest practices, such as inadequate drying and storage.
“What we have been doing is trying to engage Agriculture in trying to ensure that they revive their farmer training schools so that the farmers can start paying attention to the problem.”
Ndey Naffie Ceesaty, the country director for PACA, also disclosed: “Just this year alone, the first quarter of this year 2018, a number of consignment were actually returned as unfit.” This was reported during the national conference on aflatoxins that we held in June.”
She added: “This was quite alarming.”
However, Lamin said The Gambia has not neglected aflatoxins. The government is partnering with international organizations to help farmers.