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Dog feeds shifting to maize meal

KNA The demand for maize in Nakuru County has increased due to the shift from manufactured dog feeds to maize meal because the owners fear that the packaged feeds might be contaminated with aflatoxins.



Nakuru County Director for Veterinary Services Dr. Onesmus Getui said some animal feeds manufacturers use materials such as maize cobs, which are crashed and mixed with other nutrients to come up with a formula for animal feeds.



However, he said sometimes the maize cobs are not kept in hygienic conditions and due to their large moisture contents, they facilitate the breeding of lots of aflatoxin in them.



Dr. Getui said once the aflatoxins find their way into feeds, product such as meat, eggs and milk get contaminated and were likely to affect even the health of their consumers.



In addition, he said it was important to ensure that grains, especially maize is kept in dry and safe places. He applauded the ministry of agriculture for introduction of biological control products such as alflasafe that has the capacity of curbing aflatoxins in the farms.



He also said the demand for maize in the country has been amplified because it’s not just used for the country’s staple food, Ugali, but the animals also tend to like the sweet taste.



 According to the ministry of Agriculture’s data, the country imported about 277,350 tons of maize last year, but with the depressed rainfall in most counties of the Rift Valley that produce most of it, the demand for next year will definitely be much higher.



Dr. Getui noted that in the past the demand for maize flour was much less, since some communities also relied on millet and sorghum.


At the same time, unlike the current situation, animals were by then not competing with human beings.



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