Aflatoxin Bio-Control Mitigation in Africa

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Office of Capacity Building and Development (OCBD) Trade and Scientific Capacity Building Division (TSCBD) conducts trade and scientific capacity building (TSCB) activities to facilitate a country’s development, rural economic growth, and agricultural trade. OCBD in partnership with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) will carry out the activities in support of the Agriculture and Food Security Technical Services program.
IITA will work collaboratively with USDA in performing the work. It is anticipated that work will be conducted in various field locations and laboratories across Africa and will leverage the use of other USAID funding, as well as funds from USDA, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and other donor partners. USDA and IITA have secured partial funding for development of biocontrol strains from the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA), and determining prevalence of aflatoxins in maize (and cassava) in Rwanda (funding from USAID-Rwanda and USAID East Africa Regional Mission).
The objectives are to:
1.quantify aflatoxins in maize and cassava in rural households and markets;
2.establish a prevalence database that can guide aflatoxin risk assessment and risk mapping activities in the country and hence strengthen standards and regulation mechanisms;
3.sensitize stakeholders in Rwanda about occurrence of aflatoxins, allowing aflatoxin mitigation strategies that are most cost-effective;
4.increase capacity of stakeholders to manage aflatoxins in value chains of crops vulnerable to aflatoxin contamination; and
5.identify, through a cost/benefit analysis, the best agricultural intervention areas (e.g., biocontrol, drying, storage, low-cost diagnostics) along the value chain for aflatoxin mitigation in a Rwandan context.
6.quantify the incidence of aflatoxin in maize and groundnut, estimate population densities and characterize A. flavus in eastern Zambia.
7.identify, with farmers, the best atoxigenic strains for biocontrol in maize and groundnut in Zambia.
8.commercialize the best atoxigenic strains into a commercial product and engage in product stewardship and market development in Zambia.
9.nature national capacity in aflatoxin research and monitoring in Zambia.
10.create awareness on aflatoxin contamination in Zambia.
11.investigate and promote integrated management approaches against pre- and postharvest aflatoxin contamination and train farmers in integrated management options in Zambia.
12.evaluate the effectiveness of aflatoxin management in maize and groundnut with focus on biocontrol in Zambia.
13.conduct area-wide demonstration of efficacy of Aflasafe SN01 for the reduction of aflatoxin in groundnut farmers’ fields in Senegal


The goal of the project is to improve income and nutritional health of farmer families and generate wealth by improved food safety in the maize, groundnut and cassava value chains. As part of this work, IITA will build the capacity of African scientists through training on biocontrol development including, but not limited to, the following activities: 1) expanding biocontrol research and outreach to Rwanda, 2) expand biocontrol research and outreach to Zambia, 3) expand biocontrol research and outreach to Senegal, 4) technical training of African laboratory researchers, regulators, and other stakeholders and, 5) investigate expansion of the biocontrol program to other African countries as opportunities develop.


Mahuku, George

Project duration

Start: 23 April 2012
End: 31 December 2021

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