Full Length Research Paper
Widespread aflatoxin contamination of maize is a public health hazard in Sub-Saharan Africa and its management requires strategies which are implemented both at pre- and post-harvest stages of cereal production. This study aimed at assessing knowledge and practices for aflatoxin contamination of maize and factors associated with adoption of artisanal aflatoxin control technologies. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 315 household heads that were practicing subsistence maize farming in Kitui, Kenya. Data were analyzed to determine farm level factors which were associated with aflatoxin contamination. Farmers in uplands areas had partial knowledge on occurrence of aflatoxin at pre-harvest stages of maize growth and effects of aflatoxins on animal health and productivity. Adoption of aflatoxin control technologies was higher in farms located in lowland areas as compared to uplands. There was evidence of association between adoption of control technologies and farm level factors including farmer’s knowledge on aflatoxin contamination, farmer’s level of education and location of farm. The results demonstrate a knowledge gap on aflatoxin contamination and farm level barriers for adoption of aflatoxin control technologies. The findings call for enhanced capacity building activities through extension to influence change on farming practices for farms with high risk of aflatoxin contamination.
Key words: Pre-harvest and post-harvest aflatoxin control methods, barriers for adoption, knowledge, effects of aflatoxins.
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