Maize Storage and Consumption Practices of Farmers in Handeni District, Tanzania: Corollaries for Mycotoxin Contamination
Open Journal of Preventive Medicine
In Tanzania, maize is the main complementary food for infants and primary school children. Dietary exposure to mycotoxins through complementary foods by Tanzanian infants is of concern. The maize storage and consumption practices of farmers in Handeni District, Tanzania and their implications for mycotoxin contamination of maize flour were investigated. A convenient sample of 60 farmers in Seza Kofi and Kwabojo villages in Mgambo and Ndolwa wards were surveyed. The majority of farmers (95%)
... f farmers (95%) stored their maize in the house using the roofing and sack methods. Most farmers (67%) did not visually or mechanically sort defective maize kernels before storage. In both villages, the most important storage problems reported by the farmers were rodents and insects. Forty two percent of the farmers surveyed indicated that they consumed dehulled maize, while 35 and 12% consumed non-dehulled and mixed (dehulled and non-dehulled), respectively. The preponderance of storage practices described was unfavorable to mycotoxin reduction in stored maize. It is therefore recommended that appropriate, area-specific farmer training regarding recommended storage practices including storage methods, effective management of storage pests and healthy maize preparation and consumption practices be conducted. Additionally, further research on maize storage and consumption practices for Tanzania is needed.