Friday, July 6, 2012
Aflatoxin control project receives approval for on-farm testing in Kenya
The Control of Aflatoxin Conta-mination in Maize and Peanuts project has received approval from the Kenya Standing Technical Committee on Import and Export (KSTCIE) to do on-farm testing of aflasafeKE01 on maize in Kenya. Food grains especially maize and peanuts are susceptible to aflatoxin contamination posing great risk to people who rely on them for food. Aflatoxin exposure provides a challenge in efforts to address food insecurity and improve people’s health.
Aflasafe, a natural biocontrol solution developed by the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) reduces aflatoxin contamination and is already in use in the USA. The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and USDA-ARS have successfully adapted the technology for use in Nigeria with results showing reduced contamination in maize and peanuts by upto 80–90 percent. AflasafeKE01 is a natural product that can reduce aflatoxin contamination of crops and has been developed in Kenya by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) in partnership with the AATF, IITA and USDA-ARS.The on-farm testing scheduled for May 2012 will involve a total of 400 farmers spread within eastern Kenya, and Bura and Tana River districts.
In a related event, the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) in March 2012, provided funding for commence-ment of biocontrol work in Tanzania. Dr Jacob Mignouna of AATF, Dr Peter Cotty of the USDA and Dr Ranajit Bandyopadhyay from IITA met Tanzania’s Ministry of Agriculture and the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority officials on the same.