Aflatoxin contamination in Nigeria and Kenya has reached a record high, and since 2004, nearly 150 people have died after eating contaminated maize. Millions of bags of contaminated maize has been taking up storage and disposing them has also become a problem.
Paula Bramel, IITA Deputy Director General, Research for Development of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.
Prem Warrior, a senior Program Officer from the Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation, said aflatoxin impacted negatively on human health and was a barrier to trade and economic growth.
“Today we have an opportunity to do something about it (aflatoxins). This project is a short term development strategy to test the technology and learn on product development issues. We have confidence in the technology but how we will commercialize it and who are our customers?”
Jacob Mignouna, noted that "maize was an important staple food for 300 million people depending on the crop so its contamination was of great concern".
Ephraim Mukisira was happy to note "the speed at which the discussions on aflatoxin were moving from the boardroom down to where the problem was".
|Ranajit explains how aflasafe works|
A video documentary on development of aflasafe - a safe and natural biocontrol product that drastically cuts aflatoxin contamination in African food crops.
The Aflacontrol Project is facilitated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF), and CIMMYT is one of its seven partners. Others are the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Agricultural Cooperative Development international/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA), International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), University of Pittsburgh, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUSH) and Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER).
For more information, visit the project website, http://programs.ifpri.org/afla/afla.asp.
Meeting on Aflatoxin Control for Improving Health, Agriculture and Trade in Africa. Washington D.C. January 26, 2011
Aflacontrol Project stakeholders’ conference on January 13th 2011 in Nairobi