Awareness on mycotoxins among commercial poultry feed handlers in Morogoro
Successful control of the mycotoxins contamination in animal feeds needs to integrate variety of techniques which involve different stakeholders along the livestock management and feed handling chain. A study was conducted in three districts in Morogoro region, Tanzania, to assess the degree of awareness among poultry feed handlers including feed processors and retailers. A structured questionnaire was delivered to 186 respondents including 36 feed miller owners or managers, 54 feed miller workers and 96 feed retailers. The respondents were randomly sampled in Morogoro municipality, Morogoro rural, and Kilosa districts. It was found that 85% of the respondents in the three districts had basic knowledge on mycotoxins. Among the respondents with the basic knowledge on mycotoxins 52% had very unsatisfactory knowledge, 44% had unsatisfactory knowledge and 4% had satisfactory knowledge. The respondents from Morogoro municipality (urban area) had significantly higher awareness on mycotoxins as compared to the ones from Morogoro rural and Kilosa (p< 0.05). Managers and/or owners of feed millers were more aware on mycotoxins as compared to other miller workers. Feed miller workers and retailers conducted 82% and 72% respectively of activities potential for mycotoxins control during feed handling processes while managers conducted 56% of the activities. The findings of this study display the potential roles of commercial poultry feed handlers on occurrence and control of mycotoxin accumulation in feeds and subsequent exposure to poultry. Utilization of the obtained information on implementation of mycotoxin control programs will facilitate better allocation of the limited resources, by understanding what inputs are required by different groups of role players.
Keywords; feed handlers, Morogoro, mycotoxins, poultry feeds