JM Social Icons


    High Yield

    Aflasafe is a 100% natural product for controlling poisonous Aspergilus flavus (A flavus) in food crops, including maize. According to Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Organization crops researcher Eliud Njoroge, Aflasafe pushes out aflatoxin-producing types of A flavus. Alfasafe is mainly roasted sterile sorghum (99.7% of the product), coated with four atoxigenic i.e. (non-poison producing) types of A flavus native to Kenya. To avoid confusion with sorghum to eat, Aflasafe is dyed blue using food color.

    READ ALSO: Aflasafe to help Kenyan farmers to tame food losses to aflatoxins

    Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by a fungus that grows on certain crops, such as maize and groundnuts. Consumption of high levels of aflatoxin can be fatal, and chronic exposure has been linked to liver cancer, suppressed immune response, and child stunting. Maize is a staple food in Kenya and is a major source of aflatoxin exposure in the country.

    READ ALSO: Applying Aflasafe ahead of flowerings stops aflatoxin

    Maize handling after harvesting is key in determining the quality of the Maize grain and the final products. If mismanaged, it may easily lead to aflatoxin contamination, a poisonous mould content that arises from improperly dried maize.

    Aflasafe broadcasting photo.jpg

    Applying Aflasafe ahead of flowering stops aflatoxin. PHOTO/FARMBIZ AFRICA

    How does Alfasafe work?

    After broadcasting and exposure to sufficient moisture, the friendly Aflasafe fungi grow out, and the blue-colored sorghum grains will now be covered with green spores. These growing fungi will first appear as white fuzz and later appear as green fuzz containing millions of spores. The green spores will eventually spread to the crop, carried by wind and insects in the manner that aflatoxin-producing fungi are spread.

    READ ALSO: Aflasafe ends aflatoxin agony

    Njoroge says Aflasafe can be used with intercropping. It will not harm other crops because it is a natural product made from fungi obtained from Kenya’s crops and soils. Intercropping does not affect Aflasafe’s performance.

    Directions for using Alfasafe

    • Prior to broadcasting Alfasafe, the plot should be weeded, fertilizer applied, and all other agricultural practices carried out in the field.
    • Broadcast Alfasafe by hand 2-3 weeks before flowerinf at the rate of 10 kg per ha (4 kg per acre). If possible, apply Alfasafe after rains, or when rains are forecasted, or when the soil is moist.
    • Ensure that Alfasafe stays on the soil surface. For the spores to grow, they must be above the ground. Therefore, do not carry out any operation that will bury Alfasafe under the soil after application. Such operations should be done in the step 1 above.
    • 5 to 10 days after broadcasting Alfasafe, visit the field and observe the color of the carrier grains. There should be a greenish growth on some or all sorghum carrier grains if soil moisture is adequate. If there is no greenish growth, return to the field after 3-5 days and check again.
    • To realize Alfasafe’s full potential, ensure you follow good agricultural, harvest and post-harvest practices, and follow all the instructions and precautions on the pack.

    For more information contact +254 20 422 3350 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






    Write comment (0 Comments)

    Opinion by Titus Kisangau, Program Officer - Communications at Eastern Africa Grain Council

    For a country to be termed as food secure, all people at all times need to have access, not only to nutritious, but also safe food. This is even truer with cereal crops, which form the bulk of staple foods in Kenya. Amongst the important cereals crops whose quality controls are being emphasized for its safety is maize.

    Every day, millions of Kenyans are consuming maize in various meals. Githeri, Ugali, maize flour cakes, Uji (porridge) are just among few delicacies prepared from maize crop.

    READ ALSO: Reducing posts-harvest losses can triple small-scale farmers' earnings

    So, what quality control measures should we observe to ensure that any maize meal being consumed in Kenya is both nutritious and safe for the health of the nation?


    The way maize is handled after harvesting is key in determining the quality of the Maize grain and the final products.

    Post-harvest handling

    The way maize is handled after harvesting is key in determining the quality of the Maize grain and the final products. If mishandled, it may easily lead to aflatoxin contamination, a poisonous mould content that arises from improperly dried maize.

    READ ALSO:Hermetic Metal Silo Secures Grains against Pests

    Maize normally take about 4- 5 months from planting to harvesting depending on the varieties, climate and altitude. Harvesting of maize is normally done in the dry period. It should also be done at physiological maturity when the grains have a moisture content of approximately 13% to avoid rotting. This is a key determinant of the final quality of maize and its products.

    Rotting encourages the growth of mould in maize including aflatoxin. The maize is then sundried periodically after which cobs are removed and shelled. Maize shelling should be done carefully to avoid damages to the grains as this affects the quality of the maize grains. The maize can then be stored or sold. Sun drying the maize is a quality control measure which helps reduces the incidences of mould growth and increase the period of storage.


    Maize should be stored in warehouses that are well ventilated. The warehouses should have air inlets that are not placed near potential contaminants. The warehouses should also be kept clean and bait traps for rodents set and inspected frequently. Certification of warehouses comes handy. This ensures that they conform to the standards of ensuring quality storage.

    READ ALSO: Hermetic bag keeps off grain pests for over two years, averts losses


    Transportation of maize is another potential exposure of the maize to deterioration of quality. Transportation of maize in open trucks exposes the grains to precipitation which can leading to the wetting of the grains.

    Quality control in milling

    The milling industry is expanding rapidly in the country and attracting many investors.

    Apart from the established large scale millers, the industry has attracted small and medium enterprises. The level of preparedness of such enterprises in terms of food quality and safety control is wanting.

    Before a miller receives maize in their premises, quality aspects should be checked in accordance with EAC standards.

    Quality control at border points

    Before maize is allowed into Kenya, inspection and checks should be undertaken at the border points. This will ensure that goods entering the country meet the prescribed international and national standards.



    Write comment (0 Comments)


    Boniface Odour, a greenhouse expert at Newscape Agro Systems Ltd demonstrating the use of Humix in a greenhouse at the 2017 Nairobi International Trade Fair. PHOTO/JAPHET RUTO

    Smallholder farmers are advised to use humix soil in the development of their plants in the green houses. Boniface Odour, a greenhouse expert at Newscape Agro Systems Ltd says humix cannot be affected by diseases and pests when compared to the normal soil.

    READ ALSO: Fact Sheet: Greenhouse options and costs in Kenya

    “Humix is a clean premium quality growth medium developed from both organic and inorganic soils” says Boniface. The soil is loaded with macro and micro-nutrients that ensure growthof healthy and clean plants free from bacteria and nematode infections.

    Despite the benefits of greenhouse technology, farmers have been facing a variety of challenges, chief among them loss of soil fertility due to failure of crop rotation. Humix soil can solve this problem as it has excellent nutrient release properties as well as high water holding characteristics making it a high - quality growth medium. It helps improve soil aeration, soil drainage and root development for beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables.

    Seedling devt.JPG

    Seedlings development technology using Humix in a greenhouse. PHOTO/JAPHET RUTO

    Farmers can also replace greenhouse soil by bringing quality soil from outside. Adopt the technology of growing crops in pots or soilless cultures. The soils when used continuously with same crop will have a buildup of diseases, especially bacterial wilt, bacterial canker, fusarium and verticilium wilts.

    READ ALSO: Sensors help farmers monitor greenhouses while miles away

    Greenhouse farmers are, therefore, encouraged to treat the soil by sterilisation, solarisation or fumigation using fumigants such as Dazomet, Metam Sodium and Chloroptin. Greenhouses get contaminated by people visiting the structures or by use of infected planting material, water and farm tools. It is advisable to have a food-bath at the entry.

    According to Boniface, who was one of the exhibitors at the 2017 Nairobi International Trade Fair, Humix is ideal for high value crops in greenhouses. It can also be used for both indoor and outdoor plants, planter boxes, in pots as well as hanging baskets. The soil can also be poured into pre-dug planting holes for new plants.

    READ ALSO: Greenhouse crop rotation quadruples farmer's yields

    For farmers intending to use humix in their greenhouses, the soil is available in 50 kg, 20 kg and 10 kg packs. It is distributed by Newscape Agro Systems Ltd, Nairobi Kenya. The price is negotiable depending on the farmers' needs. 

    Boniface can be reached on +254 722 768 537.

    Write comment (0 Comments)

    Editor's Pick

    Weekly weather updates


    Sign Up

    Sign up to receive our newsletter
    FarmBiz Africa © 2018

    Please publish modules in offcanvas position.