A Study of Microfungi Infecting Stored Cereals, Legumes and Oilseeds in Kenya

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Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
A country-wide survey was carried out in 1985 - 1988 to determine the microfungi infecting stored cereals, legumes and oilseeds. Samples were collected from granaries, shops, markets and ~LOres of the Nation'al Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) in all the eight provinces of Kenya. The collected samples were taken to the National Agricultural Research Laboratories, Nairobi for microfungal isolation and identification Isolation of the microfungi was done using routine agarplating technilJues and the identification procedure was as per Raper and Thomas (1949), Raper and Fennel (1965), Neergard (1962). Booth (1971) and Schipper (1978) among others. The survey revealed that 33 species belonging to 17 genera of microfungi were associated with stored cereals, legufl1es andoilseeds. Aspergillus spp., Fusarium spp. and Penicillium spp. Were the most commonly isolated from the stored grains and are of economic importance in public health because of their capability to produce mycotoxins. On the basis of the results of the survey, timely harvesting, effective drying and good storage of food grains have been recommended in order to minimize post-harvest losses due to microfungi