Delegates to the African Groundnut Council's seminar at Kaduna, in Northern Nigeria, toured a Kano processing plant.
Delegates to the African Groundnut Council's seminar at Kaduna, in Northern Nigeria, toured a Kano processing plant. It was a practical insight into the topic of their conference -- storage and handling of groundnuts.
Experts from Niger, Mali, Zaire, Nigeria, Gambia, Sudan, Senegal and Ghana attended the conference. For many of their countries, groundnuts are a major source of foreign exchange, and an industry providing work for hundreds of thousands of people.
SYNOPSIS: Groundnuts were the subject of an important conference in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria, last week. Delegates from eight African nations spent a week discussing aspects of handling and the storing the nuts. To gain some practical insight into the problems, they toured this plant at nearby Kano.
For most of the participants, groundnuts are an important factor in their countries economy. The industry often employs hundreds of thousands of workers, and is a vital source of foreign income. But ground-nuts no longer hold as strong a position in the world's oil-seeds markets as they once commanded.
One problem which has overshadowed the industry recently is the presence in groundnuts of Aflatoxin. This is a poisonous substance, produced by a fungus, which some scientists believe can cause cancer. But, according to Mr. Arkets Briggs, the Nigerian Federal Commissioner for Trade, the harmful effects of Aflatoxin have been exaggerated. He hoped practical scientific proposals which had been made by the ground-nut producing countries would convince European consumers that the problem was indeed exaggerated.
The delegates to the seminar were able to take a close look at the way Nigeria looks after its ground-nuts output.