Combating Aflatoxin

The SolutionsNew farming technologies developed and implemented

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 Interventions 

  • An aflatoxin testing kit developed in-house uses a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) to rapidly detect the presence of aflatoxins. It has drastically reduced the cost of testing crops from USD 25 to USD 1 per sample
  • An aflatoxin testing laboratory in Zambia is currently operational and provides service to stakeholders
  • Good agricultural practices (GAPs) identified to reduce preand post-harvest aflatoxin contamination, such as the triple layer plastic bags based on “Purdue Improved Crop Storage” technology
  • Mapping aflatoxin exposure and its impact on nutrition and growth of children in Malawi and Tanzania.
 

Impacts

  • ELISA testing kit: Used by The National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) successfully, in conjunction with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
  • Malawi regained its groundnut export to Europe. In just one area of Malawi, over 4,000 farmers are now exporting groundnuts to Europe under the fair trade agreement
  • Peanut butter processors in Zambia are testing their products. A company has started labelling its product as ‘tested for aflatoxins and safe for consumption’.
  • The Zambia Bureau of Standards is establishing national standards for aflatoxin in peanut butter
  • Several resistant sources in groundnut have been identified in Africa and Asia
  • Result demonstrations (2013-15) in farmers’ fields showcasing a set of GAPs versus farmers’ practices showed 62-94% reduction in aflatoxin contamination in groundnut; increase in yield by around 30%, additional net income of around USD 25 per acre.

For more information, see videos:

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