Africa / Agri-Health / Animal Feeding / Animal Products / Consumption / Event / Feeds / Food Safety / Human Health

Brussels roundtable this week on mitigating aflatoxin contamination of food and feed in Africa

Aflatoxin-contaminated groundnut kernels

Aflatoxin-contaminated groundnut kernels from Mozambique (via Flickr/IITA).

PAEPARD [the Platform for Africa-European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development] is organising with the Directorate General Sante of the European Commission and the East African Farmer Federation (EAFF), and in collaboration with the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) and the African Society of Mycotoxicology (ASM), a roundtable meeting of key aflatoxin experts (not only research experts) on the mitigation of aflatoxin in food and feed in Africa on Monday 25th January 2015 in Brussels (by invitation only).

‘This is a follow up to the PAEPARD policy brief on the aflatoxin contamination of food and feed in Africa presented during the DEVCo Info Lunch conference in Brussels on 26th October 2015.

‘This note is to guide the presentations in the afternoon of 25/01 and the possible creation of consortia around future funding opportunities related to: (a) Raising awareness ; (b) pre-harvest postharvest and manufacturing agricultural practices ; (c) decontamination

‘Possible interventions along the value chain
‘Overall, there should be incentive/motivation mechanism especially for small scale farmers if significant impact is expected. So, there is urgent need for having incentive/motivation mechanism along with technology dissemination.

‘The 1st Symposium on African Mycotoxicology (Zambia, May 2015) suggested addressing the mycotoxin problem in Africa by:

  • Raising awareness of all actors through education, information and knowledge sharing
  • Adopting good agronomic practices such as early harvesting, use of early and/or resistant varieties
  • Adopting good postharvest practices such as rapid drying of products to a safe moisture level
  • Developing infrastructures such as sanitation, and improved storage structures

‘The Regional Workshop of PACA (Senegal, September 2015) identified the priority actions for technology as:

  • Testing: provide affordable and accessible rapid test kits in each AEZ in countries for tests at all critical points of the VC; build capacity in testing laboratories; establish national and regional testing/reference labs; raise awareness; establish M & E at country and regional levels
  • Good Agricultural Practices: create a holistic, integrated approach; create a private sector-led value chain centric aflatoxin management program; consider aerial, area-wide application of aflasafeTM (The Gambia and Senegal) [Scaling –up is premature. This technology could work better if integrated in a good agricultural practices package. See 2.3: Good pre-harvest agricultural practices]; develop and deploy low susceptibility varieties
  • Good Production Practices (GPP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP): define recommended technologies (basic–advanced) for every process step (drying, sorting, grading, product segregation, storage and transport); implement the recommended technologies in the value chain at country level
  • Decontamination: evaluate efficacy of local clay in decontaminating groundnut cake and oil; adopt ammoniation technology for decontaminating groundnut cake; research small capacity filtration and refinement process for groundnut oil.

‘It is clear from both lists that not all actions involve an innovative technological research agenda; but where research is necessary, the strong involvement of the farmers’ organizations, of the public authorities and the civil society is necessary for an impact on public health. . . .’

The above information is taken from an 11-page background note for this roundtable prepared by PAEPARD and available in full on its website: A multi-stakeholder approach to mitigate aflatoxin contamination of food and feed.

Related materials available on the PAEPARD website are a program and list of participants and an 8-page PAEPARD Policy Brief #1: The role of multi-stakeholder partnerships between Africa and Europe exemplified by the issue of aflatoxin contamination of food and feed, Oct 2015.

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