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Biocontrol reduces poultry mortality

Aflatoxins have become a menace in developing countries (© IITA)
Aflatoxins have become a menace in developing countries
© IITA

Feeding poultry with maize treated with a biocontrol product for controlling aflatoxins - aflasafe™ - reduced mortality rates by 43.9 per cent, according to a new study by scientists from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the University of Ibadan. Results also revealed that the use of aflasafe™-treated maize reduced feed intake by 10.4 per cent and improved the feed conversion ratio by 3.3 per cent. Mr Kola Masha, the Managing Director of investment firm Doreo Partners, which is commercialising production of aflasafe™ in Nigeria, added that the result of the feeding trial translates into an estimated increase in profitability of over 500,000 naira (US$3,200) for every 10,000 birds.

"We are excited with these results because the use of aflasafe™ is a cheaper and safer solution for the poultry sector," says Dr Emmanuel Ewuola of the Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan, who supervised the animal feeding experiment. He added that with aflasafe™ grains, poultry farmers would not need aflatoxin binders in feeds. Produced by toxigenic strains of Aspergillus flavus, aflatoxins have become a menace in developing countries, contaminating about 25 per cent of grains produced in the region. As well as reducing productivity in livestock, the effects on human health of consuming aflatoxin-contaminated grains include stunting in children, liver cancer and even death in cases of acute poisoning.

Date published: March 2013

 

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