28) ICRISAT Receives Grant from DFID to Reduce Aflatoxin (5 April 2001)


The Department for International Development, UK (DFID), is funding ICRISAT's collaborative research project on "Strategies for reducing aflatoxin levels in groundnut-based foods and feeds in India: a step towards improving health of humans and livestock".

Aflatoxin in food and feed has been found to cause liver cancer, and is, therefore, a big health risk to both human beings and animals. The problem has badly affected groundnut exports, especially from developing countries, because most developed countries have strict laws on permissible limits of aflatoxin levels in food and feed products. Smallholder farmers, groundnut oil, and livestock industries are particularly affected by the problem.

"The successful completion of the project will contribute to the development of a set of farmer validated management strategies/technologies for reducing aflatoxin contamination, suitable for adoption by small-scale farmers," said Dr. D.V.R. Reddy, ICRISAT Virologist. "It will lead to the availability of groundnut-based food and groundnut cake, with permissible levels of aflatoxin contamination." This will mean reduced health hazards for poor people and livestock, a major step forward in improving their general health.

ICRISAT's principal partners in this collaborative project are the University of Reading, UK; The Queens University of Belfast, UK; Natural Resources Institute, UK; Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad, India; Society for Transformation, Agriculture and Alternatives in Development, Hyderabad, India; Agriculture, Man, Ecology, Bangalore, India.

The financial support of DFID for this project is US$ 400,500, of which ICRISAT will get US$ 161,500 over a 2-year period from July 2000 to June 2002.

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