Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Regional laboratory launched in Kenya to fight aflatoxin

Agriculture cabinet secretary, Felix Koskei
and the principal secretary, Sicily Kariuki
during the ground breaking of the Aflasafe
Modular Manufacturing factory at Karlo Katumani.
18 November 2014. To help poor rural farmers in east Africa, the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock have put up a laboratory to conduct research on the mycotoxins in the East Africa region. KALRO will also construct a modular (small-scale) plant to manufacture Aflasafe KE01, a biopesticide to control aflatoxin, one of the most prevalent mycotoxin in the region.

The construction of the regional mycotoxin laboratory was supported by the World Bank which rehabilitated an existing building at the Katumani center while the equipment was provided by USAID through the Aflatoxin Policy and Program for East Africa (APPEAR) project, and USDA-ARS. It will be used for surveillance and monitoring of aflatoxin contamination as well as for developing biocontrol agents for aflatoxin management in Kenya and the Eastern African region. The total investment for this laboratory facility amounted to US$170,000.

Aflasafe KE01 was developed in partnership with KALRO, IITA, USDA-ARS, AATF, ACDI/VOCA, and the National Irrigation Board (NIB). These partners are also behind the construction of the modular plant which will cost US$800,000 and produce the biopesticide for the region. Currently the plant will be run by KALRO with technical backstopping from IITA but it is hoped it will eventually attract the private sector for wide-scale production and distribution of the product.

Research Organization (KALRO) with the support of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the United States Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Services (USDA-ARS), African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and ACDI-VOCA

24th November 2014. Joint FAO/ Embassy of Finland meeting on Aflatoxin.

The Joint FAO/Embassy of Finland meeting on Aflatoxin was an initiative of the Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD )Donor Group. The Group raised concern that there were various ongoing research projects on aflatoxin whose results needed to be shared and discussed to inform the way forward. FAO and the Embassy of Finland agreed to jointly organize the meeting to provide a platform for the purpose. The target participants were the ARD Donor Group, the Development Partners in Health Kenya (DPHK) Group, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Health, and other relevant stakeholders. The meeting, which was hosted by the Embassy of Finland, was in form of short presentations of results followed by discussions whose focus was:
  1. Share and discuss findings of various aflatoxin activities carried out by different actors in Kenya.
  2. Deliberate on how to have better coordination between the projects. 
The meeting was attended by representatives from the University of Nairobi, CGIAR/ILRI, BecA-ILRI Hub, CDC/KEMRI, AgriFood Research Centre- Finland, European Union, SNV Kenya, WFP, FAO, KEPHIS, MOH, MOA, USAID, Swedish and Finnish Embassies.

Participants agreed to build on the already existing National Food Safety Coordination Committee (NFSCC) to provide the coordination platform. For this purpose, the NFSCC should be expanded and adopt a “thematic area” approach in order to capture all players; including county representatives from pilot counties.

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