5. Technologies to mitigate mycotoxins contamination in food and animal feed
A wide range of AF management options exist in literature. Depending on the “type” or mode of application, management has been classified in this review as pre-harvest stage, specifically biological control, while sorting technology, treatments with electromagnetic radiation, ozone fumigation, chemical control agents, biological control agents, and packaging material are grouped as post-harvest stage. Each of these groups of control/management options are briefly discussed below.
a) Biological Control
Non-aflatoxin forming strains of A. flavus have been used as a biological control for long-term crop protection against AF contamination under field conditions. When the spore number of nontoxigenic strains in the soil is high, they will compete with other strains, both toxigenic and other atoxigenic, for the infection sites and essential nutrients needed for growth. Moreover, soil inoculation with nontoxigenic strains has a carryover effect, which protects crops from contamination during storage. The ability of fungus to compete with closely related strains depends on several factors such as pH and soil type as well as the availability of nitrogen, carbon, water, and minerals.
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the United States Department of Agriculture - Agriculture Research Service together with other partners have been researching in Africa on non-toxigenic biocontrol fungi that act through competitive exclusion strategy. They have successfully developed several country-specific indigenous aflatoxin biocontrol products generically named as Aflasafe™ (www.aflasafe.com), which can be used on maize and groundnut. This product is an ecofriendly innovative biocontrol technology that utilizes native nontoxigenic strains of A. flavus to naturally out-compete their aflatoxin-producing cousins. Aflasafe™ has been shown to consistently reduce aflatoxin contamination in maize and groundnut by 80e99% during crop development, postharvest storage, and throughout the value chain in several countries across Africa. Aflasafe products have been registered for commercial use in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Gambia, while products are under development in seven other African nations]. Each Aflasafe™ product contains four unique atoxigenic strains of A. flavus widely distributed naturally in the country where it is to be applied. Another study on biological control has found that inoculation of antagonistic strains of fluorescent Pseudomonas, Bacillus and Trichoderma spp. on peanuts resulted in significant reduction of pre-harvest seed infection by A. flavus. Other researchers demonstrated that the extract of Equisetum arvense and a mixture 1:1 of Equisetum arvense and Stevia rebaudiana is effective against growth of A. flavus and subsequent production of aflatoxin under pre-harvest conditions. A 71% reduction in AF contamination in soils and in groundnuts when an AF competitive exclusion strain of A. flavus AFCHG2 was applied to Argentinian groundnuts. Non-toxigenic strains of A. flavus were shown to mitigate AF contaminations in maize through pre-harvest field application. Furthermore, the efficacy of a bioplastic-based formulation for controlling AFs in maize were evaluated. The results showed that bio-control granules inoculated with A. flavus NRRL 30797 or NRRL 21882 reduced AF contaminations up to 90% in both non-Bt and Bt hybrids (Bt corn is a variant of maize that has been genetically altered to express one or more proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis including Delta endotoxins. The protein is poisonous to certain insect pests. Spores of the bacillus are widely used in organic gardening, although GM corn is not considered organic).
b) Sorting technology
Sorting processes seek to eliminate agricultural products with substandard quality. Normally sorting, especially for grains, can be achieved based on differentiation of physical properties such as color, size, shape, and density as well as visible identification of fungal growth in affected crops. By rejecting damaged and discolored samples, sorting operations reduce the presence of AFs as well as contaminating materials in food and feed.
Nonetheless, such physical methods are often laborious, inefficient, and impractical for in-line measurements. The application of computer-based image processing techniques is one of the most promising methods for large-scale screening of fungal and toxin contaminations in food and feed. Grains and other agricultural products contain various nutritional substances that are degraded by fungal growth, which in turn influence absorbance spectra of the material. It was also shown that it was possible to quantify fungal infection and metabolites such as mycotoxins produced in maize grain by Fusarium verticillioides using Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). NIRS successfully identified kernels contaminated with AFs. Moreover, some researchers highlighted NIRS technique as a fast and nondestructive tool for detecting mycotoxins such as AF-B1 in maize and barley at a level of 20 ppb. Nevertheless, NIRS only produces an average spectrum, which lacks in spatial information from the sample with respect to distribution of the chemical composition. Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is another method that can be employed to monitor both the distribution and composition of mycotoxins in contaminated food samples, especially grains. This method can produce both localized information and a complete NIR spectrum in each pixel. Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) technique was also used to estimate AF contamination in maize kernels inoculated with A. flavus spores and demonstrated the potential for HSI based in the Vis/NIR range for quantitative identification and distinction of AFs in inoculated maize kernels. Nevertheless, all these spectral techniques require properly trained personal and equipment which is out of the reach of the small subsistence farmers that are typical of the underdeveloped countries in Sub-Sahara Africa.
c) Chemical control agents
A number of studies have determined the effect of synthetic and natural food additives on AF reduction in food products. A prime example of this effect is citric acid on AF-B1 and AF-B2 degradation in extruded sorghum. The effect of sodium hydrosulfite (Na2S2O4 ) and pressure on the reduction of AFs in black pepper was investigated. The study reported that the application of 2% Na2S2O4 under high pressure resulted in a greater percentage reduction of AF-B1, AF-B2, AF-G1, and AF-G2, without damage to the outer layer of black pepper. Nevertheless, AF-B2 was found to be the most resistant against the applied treatment. Apart from that, it is evident that respiration from insects increases the temperature and moisture content of grains providing favorable conditions for fungal growth. For this reason, the efficacy of 2, 6-di (t-butyl)-p-cresol) and the entomopathogenic fungus Purpureocillium lilacinum on the accumulation of AF-B1 in stored maize was evaluated. The results clearly showed that the highest reduction of AF-B1 in stored maize occurred with the combination of BHT and urpureocillium lilacinum. In addition, the effects of organic acids during soaking process on the reduction of AFs in soybean media were studied.
The highest reduction rate of AF-B1 was obtained from tartaric acid followed by citric acid, lactic acid, and succinic acid, respectively. These acid treatments convert AF-B1 to β-keto acid that subsequently transforms to AF-D1, which has less toxicity than that of AFB1. Another novel technology was also reported that has been applied to inhibit AF contamination called acidic electrolyzed oxidizing water, which is an electrolyte solution prepared using an electrolysis apparatus with an ion-exchange membrane, used to decontaminate AF-B1 from naturally contaminated groundnut samples. This decreased the content of AF-B1 in groundnuts about 85% after soaking in the solution. Remarkably, the nutritional content and color of the groundnuts did not significantly change after treatment.
To overcome the development of fungal resistance as well as residual toxicity posed by synthetic additives, the actions of some plant-based preservatives toward AF reduction have been studied in various food products. The effect of isothiocyanates, generated by enzymatic hydrolysis of glucosinolates, contained in oriental mustard flour were evaluated. The findings showed that isothiocyanates reduced A. parasiticus growth in groundnut samples, whereas the AF-B1, AFB2, AF-G1, and AF-G2 reduction ranged between 65 and 100%. Similar results were obtained by other researchers, who reported the inhibition of AFs by isothiocyanates derived from oriental and yellow mustard flours in piadina (a typical Italian flatbread) contaminated with A. parasiticus. These results can be explained by the electrophilic property of isothiocyanates, which can bind to thiol and amino groups of amino acids, peptides, and proteins, forming conjugates, dithiocarbamate, and thiourea structures leading to enzyme inhibition and subsequently to cell death. Due to fungicidal and anti-aflatoxigenic properties of neem leaves, the application of 20% neem powder fully inhibited all types of aflatoxins synthesis for 4 months in wheat and for 2 months in maize, whereas the inhibition of AF-B2, AF-G1, and AF-G2 was observed for 3 months in rice.
d) Biological control agents at post-harvest processing stages
Physical and chemical detoxification methods have some disadvantages, such as loss of nutritional value, altered organoleptic properties, and undesirable effects in the product as well as high cost of equipment and practical difficulties making them infeasible, particularly for lower-income countries. However, biological methods based on competitive exclusion by non-toxigenic fungal strains have been reported as a promising approach for mitigating formation of mycotoxins and preventing their absorption into the human body. Among various microorganisms, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) namely Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Propionibacterium, and Lactococcus are reported to be active in terms of binding AF-B1 and AF-M1. The binding is most likely a surface phenomenon with a significant involvement of lactic acid and other metabolites such as phenolic compounds, hydroxyl fatty acids, hydrogen peroxide, reuterin (3-hydroxypropionaldehyde), and proteinaceous compounds produced by LAB. AF binding seems to be strongly related to several factors such as LAB strain, matrix, temperature, pH, and incubation time. Researchers found that Lactobacillus rhamnosus was the best strain with the ability to bind to AF-B1 in contaminated wheat flour during bread-making process. Other microorganisms have also been reported to bind or degrade aflatoxins in foods and feeds. The AF-B1 binding abilities of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains in vitro in indigenous fermented foods from Ghana were tested. The results indicated that some strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae have high AF-B1 binding capacity. These binding properties could be useful for the selection of starter cultures to prevent high AF contamination levels in relevant fermented foods.
e) Packaging materials
In post-harvest management, packaging materials are frequently considered as the final step of product development in order to extend the preservation of food and feed products. During storage and distribution, food commodities can be affected by a range of environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity as well as light and oxygen exposure. Overall, these factors have been reported to facilitate various physicochemical changes such as nutritional degradation and browning reactions with the latter causing undesirable color changes. The interaction of these factors can also elevate the risks of fungal development and subsequent AF contamination. Many smallholder farmers in lower-income countries traditionally store agricultural products such as grains in containers typically made from wood, bamboo, thatch, or mud placed and covered with thatch or metal roofing sheets. Recently, metal or cement bins have been introduced as alternatives to traditional storage methods, but their high costs and difficulties with accessibility make adoption by small-scale farms limited. Polypropylene (PP) bags which are currently used for grains storage, are still contaminated by fungal AFs especially when those reused bags contain A. flavus spores.
Several studies have reported the application of Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bags to mitigate fungal growth and resulting AF contamination. .PICS bags successfully suppressed the development of A. flavus and resulting AF contamination in maize across the wide range of moisture contents in comparison to non-hermetic containers. This could be a result of PICS bag construction consisting of triple bagging hermetic technology with two inner liners made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and an outer layer woven PP. In addition, PICS bags reduced the oxygen influx and limited the escape of carbon dioxide, which can prevent the development of insects in stored grain.
f) Benefits of good harvest management
Many innovative management strategies that can potentially reduce AF contamination in food and feed chains have been identified by this review. These strategies have the potential to mitigate adverse effects of AF contamination on food security, public health, and economic development. An understanding of these benefits can motivate policy makers and value chain actors to explore effective ways of managing AFs during pre- and post-production processes.
The quantity and quality of agricultural products are degraded by the presence of AFs, while the opposite is true when AF contamination is effectively prevented. The use of biocontrol methods for instance has been shown to reduce contamination up to 90%, which potentially reduces complete loss of harvested or stored crops. As mentioned earlier the use of the PICS technology for grain storage can reduce AF contamination due to the controlled environment in the hermitic bags. For subsistent households, such measures can potentially increase availability of harvested food crop for family consumption. Farmers can even afford to sell their excess produce and use the proceeds to purchase other food ingredients they do not produce themselves. Moreover, applications of innovative control technologies can ensure that products are safer to consume, thereby improving utilization efficiency. By reducing significant losses during storage, the control of AF can certify that the foodstuffs are available over extended periods of time, thereby ensuring consistent food availability. Effective control of AF contamination therefore has the potential to enhance food availability, food access, food utilization, and food stability.
AFs are a serious risk to public health, especially in low-income countries where most people consume relatively large quantities of susceptible crops such as maize or sorghum. According to the estimation of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 billion people are chronically exposed to mycotoxins. Prolonged exposure to even low levels of AF contamination in crops could lead to liver damage or cancer as well as to immune disorders. In children, stunted growth and Kwashiorkor pathogenesis are caused by breast milk consumption or direct ingestion of AF-contaminated foods.
Controlling AF contamination through the application of effective technologies could potentially avoid such health risks and have significant benefits in a number of ways. First chronic diseases can be prevented to minimize pressure on the health facilities of an economy due to savings on cost of medication and treatment. People will have access to good quality food ingredients for healthy living and making an efficient labor force available for the economy.
g) Economic benefits
The economic benefits of AF reduction are observed through both domestic and high-value international trade markets. At domestic and regional levels, markets might not reward reduced AF in crops, but avoiding contamination could allow, in ideal cases, to increase the volume of sales, which would lead to higher incomes as well as greater returns on investments for producers. Farmers who successfully inhibit AF contamination can also benefit from increased income due to greater product acceptance, higher market value, or access to high-value markets. In reality, there are numerous factors that have to be enhanced in order to create premium class products such as aflatoxin control, consumer awareness, marketing channels, aflatoxin testing, and stricter enforcement of production and market regulations. When such enabling conditions are met, it has been shown that aflatoxin conscious market can pay a premium for aflatoxin safe products even in the domestic market in Africa.
Moreover, the control of AF contamination could reduce costs the associated with consequent effects on humans, such as medical treatments, primarily of individuals suffering from liver cancer, as well as indirect costs such as pain and suffering, anxiety, and reduction in quality of life associated with exposure to AFs. At the international level, many developed countries have established regulations to limit exposure to AFs. Some countries have different limits depending on the intended use, the strictest on human consumption, exports, and industrial products. Despite that stringent measures that makes phytosanitary standards seemingly more expensive, once suppliers internalize the economic costs of compliance in reality, greater economic benefits for society can be achieved. This is due to access to larger and more stable markets, and less incidence of disease. Controlling AF contamination in exportable agricultural commodities could maintain or even increase trade volumes and foreign earnings for exporting economies. Furthermore, the savings from such control measures could be channeled or invested in other economic sectors in order to generate additional income and propel growth and development.
h) Implications for research and policy
AFs are a critical problem for food safety in many lower-income countries where AF formation in key staple crops causes significant post-harvest losses and negative impacts on human life. Currently, several innovative AF control technologies have shown potential to improve health and economic factors for farmers and other actors in commodity value chains. However, the efficacy, safety, and quality of these technologies must be verified prior to adoption. The feasibility of using biocontrol products depends not only on safety regulations in each individual country, but also on the accessibility of such biocontrol tools like Aflasafe™ to smallholder farmers. The ability to develop and maintain biocontrol strains from local resources, particularly in the production of Aflasafe™, are highly cost-effective and facilitate availability. Meanwhile, non-profit governmental or nongovernmental organizations can also promote such products, which are particularly suitable for sustainable development. However, biocontrol adoption still requires a flexible system that allows the use of bio-pesticides together with a favorable policy and institutional supports.
Furthermore, other techniques have been developed such as sorting technologies that offer numerous advantages including (1) rapid, real-time product information via non-destructive measurement, (2) reduction of laborious and destructive analytical methods, (3) continuous monitoring, and (4) integrating into existing processing lines for control and automation. However, investment costs are usually the main factor determining whether such technologies are adopted or not. For simplicity, development of cheap and portable diagnostics techniques that are adaptable to different field networks is imperative. In addition, future research should still be conducted in cooperation with final users to achieve full adoption potential. Despite technological advances, hand sorting may still be more suitable in lower-income countries where access to equipment is limited. The culls from sorting must be disposed in a manner that they do not enter the food chain, particularly of economically vulnerable populations.
6. New Environmentally Friendly Technologies to combat mycotoxin contamination:
A) NovaSil Clay (from BASF Corporation) for the Protection of Humans and Animals from Aflatoxins and Other Contaminants
Aflatoxin contamination of diets results in disease and death in humans and animals. The objective of this research was to review the development of innovative enterosorption strategies for the detoxification of aflatoxins. NovaSil clay (NS) has been shown to decrease exposures to aflatoxins and prevent aflatoxicosis in a variety of animals when included in their diets. Results have shown that NS clay binds aflatoxins with high affinity and high capacity in the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in a notable reduction in the bioavailability of these toxins without interfering with the utilization of vitamins and other micronutrients. This strategy is already being utilized as a potential remedy for acute aflatoxicosis in animals and as a sustainable intervention via diet. Animal and human studies have confirmed the apparent safety of NS and refined NS clay (with uniform particle size). Studies in Ghanaians at high risk of aflatoxicosis have indicated that NS (at a dose level of 0.25% w/w) is effective at decreasing biomarkers of aflatoxin exposure and does not interfere with levels of serum vitamins A and E, iron, or zinc. A new spinoff of this strategy is the development and use of broad-acting sorbents for the mitigation of environmental chemicals and microbes during natural disasters and emergencies. In summary, enterosorption strategies/therapies based on NS clay are promising for the management of aflatoxins and as sustainable public health interventions. The NS clay remedy is novel, inexpensive, and easily disseminated.
B) Aflasafe – a 100% natural biological control product for fighting aflatoxin.
· What is Aflasafe?
Aflasafe is a safe natural solution to the problem of aflatoxin, homegrown in Africa with help from partners in the USA and Europe. It works from the plot to your plate to stop contamination from reaching dangerous levels and keep foods like maize and groundnuts safe to eat.
Aflasafe tackles toxic tragedy using harmless types of Aspergillus flavus. Surprisingly, this is the same kind of fungus that produces aflatoxin, but in this case they are kindlier cousins that do not and cannot ever produce the toxin. Each country has its own version of Aflasafe using a mixture of four fungal strains, all found growing naturally in local soils. The friendly fungi are coated onto ordinary sorghum grain, which acts as a vehicle to help them get established and can easily be broadcast onto fields.
It seems strange for the same fungus to be both poison and cure, but it is a bit like sending a thief to catch a thief: only Aspergillus can stop Aspergillus.
Farmers apply Aflasafe to their plants early on, and the friendly fungi occupy the growing food before the dangerous ones can get a toehold. Aflasafe might look like a poacher but it is really a gamekeeper, staking out its territory and making life difficult for the bad guys.
· Geographical and food value chain focus
Aflatoxin is a poison produced by the soil-inhabiting fungus Aspergillus flavus that infects crops in the field leading to postharvest losses. Common in human food and animal feed, aflatoxin can occur throughout the food value chains, compromising food security, health and trade in many developing countries. The extent of contamination varies by season, crop and region, often hovering around 25%.
Aflatoxin causes an estimated 5–30% of liver cancer worldwide, the highest incidence being in Africa (30%). It suppresses the immune system and stunts child growth. Internally, approximately 40% of the produce in African markets exceeds the aflatoxin maxima allowed. Externally, Africa potentially loses up to USD 670 million annually in lost export opportunities.
Aflasafe is registered in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and The Gambia, where tens of thousands of farmers are using it. Product development is under way in another nine African countries, with plans to commercialize Aflasafe in all the countries of engagement.
· Technical quality
The Agricultural Research Service – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA–ARS) invented a natural bio-pesticide for aflatoxins that is safe and cost-effective. Thereafter, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) worked with USDA–ARS and several national partners to adapt and improve this technology for Africa, resulting in Aflasafe. Aflasafe looks like seed sorghum. The grains are ‘killed’ by heating before coating with spores of four native beneficial fungi. These beneficial fungi are native strains of A. flavus that cannot ever produce aflatoxins. The beneficial fungi progressively displace toxic strains of A. flavus, thus creating a cumulatively safer environment for the crop season after season. Aflasafe consistently reduces aflatoxin contamination in maize and groundnuts by between 80 and 99% at harvest and in storage.
Applied pre-harvest but with postharvest benefits, a single application of Aflasafe − just this one single action in each cropping season − is all that is required to protect maize or groundnuts along the entire value chain from plot to plate. Ten kilos of Aflasafe, costing between USD 12 and 20, is applied on each hectare by simply broadcasting 2–3 weeks prior to flowering. Aflasafe is currently packed in handy 2.5- and 5-kilo bags for easy application by smallholders. (5-minute video on how Aflasafe works)
Aflasafe is not simply imported from one country to another, nor is its development top-down. It is the first bio-pesticide developed locally through years of continuous national and international collaboration. Aflasafe is not a one-size-fits-all product in its composition or approach. Rather, Aflasafe is painstakingly customized for each country by modulating and making safer the country’s particular fungal community. With reduction approaching 100% in some crops and countries, to date, Aflasafe remains the most cost-effective technology for controlling aflatoxins in Africa. It is an all-African initiative: inputs are sourced in Africa and production is on African soil, allowing for rapid manufacture, deployment and distribution across the continent.
· Feasibility for commercialization
With up to 500% return on investment for farm-based businesses and their constituent farmers, Aflasafe is an attractive value proposition. Commercialization discussions with the private sector are at an advanced stage. More than 450 tons of Aflasafe were sold in Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, The Gambia and Zambia in 2014−2016. Pending orders are approximately 1,000 tons. The projected demand in 2017 alone is 1,000 tons (equivalent to 100,000 hectares). In Nigeria, Aflasafe-protected maize fetched 13−17% more profits in 2013−2015. We are working with global marketing experts on three prongs in each country: target market analysis, production scenarios and delivery approaches. For maize in Kenya, our model projects a 40% increase in adoption by Year 5.
· Potential for upscaling and worth of investment
Although commercialization is still in the early stages, more than 20,000 farmers are already using Aflasafe through agri-business incentivization (Nigeria) and engagement (Senegal); and government distribution (Kenya). The Aflasafe Technology Transfer and Commercialization Project − funded by the Gates Foundation and USAID − was recently launched to ensure Aflasafe reaches millions of farmers in 11 African countries through public- and private-sector partnerships. These partnerships will enhance Aflasafe’s availability and accessibility through investments in its manufacture and distribution, thus fostering adoption. The initial target is at least half-a-million hectares of Aflasafe-protected smallholding in five years. Country-specific strategies are being designed to guide the choice of models and investors in each country.
· Aflasafe has many benefits
o It is highly effective, cutting aflatoxin in food drastically and making it safe to eat.
o It is a completely safe and environmentally friendly product, sourced from nature.
o Aflasafe stays with food, protecting it all the way through storage and onto your plate.
o It only needs to be applied by farmers once each growing season, and is cheap and cost-effective.
o Aflasafe is a made-in-African initiative; production is on African soil using inputs sourced in Africa.
· How to use Aflasafe
Aflasafe is very quick and easy to use. Apply the product once to your growing crop, and it will protect your harvest all the way until it is eaten.
You should apply about 10 kg of Aflasafe per hectare by hand broadcasting, i.e. throwing handfuls over the surface of the field, around 2–3 weeks before crop flowering. The only tricky part is knowing when flowering is due. You need to be familiar with the seed variety that you are growing, or seek guidance from your seed supplier or Aflasafe distributor. Exact timings for Aflasafe application also depend on your location.
Although the general principles for using Aflasafe do not vary much from place to place, we are in the process of preparing country-specific how-to guides for farmers wherever Aflasafe is available, as both videos and leaflets, in the languages spoken locally. For a fully in-depth look at using Aflasafe we offer a comprehensive training manual (currently available for West Africa and Kenya). Full information on how to use the product is also printed on all Aflasafe packaging (for info, visit Aflasafe where I am for progress and contacts).
· Where to buy Aflasafe
Aflasafe Map Key:
Green: Commercially available
Gray: Under development
This list shows you where to get hold of Aflasafe in every country where it is currently available. Aflasafe is close to readiness in many other countries, undergoing final testing or registration for sale, so check out Aflasafe where I am for details.
1. Burkina Faso
Tel: +226 20 97 20 18/36
Email: [email protected]
Macrofertil Ghana Ltd
Tel: +233 303 20 60 60 / 544 32 50 60
Mobile: +233 245 44 3012
Email: [email protected]
KALRO (product registrant)
Email: [email protected]
Email: [email protected]
Tel/SMS: +234 (0)807 356 9437, (0)705 149 0042, (0)705 149 0062, (0)907 031 3762
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]
Tel/SMS: +221 77 947 45 26
A to Z Ltd
7. The Gambia
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]
Tel/SMS: +221 77 947 45 26 (in Senegal)
7. Organizations engaged in abatement of mycotoxin contamination in food and animal feed
a) Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA)
To provide leadership and coordination for Africa’s aflatoxin control efforts, acting primarily as a catalyst, facilitator, partnership and knowledge broker, project developer and information clearinghouse. PACA will also advocate for the establishment of enabling policies and institutions, increased investment and the mobilization of resources, and should ultimately act as a grant maker to support priority aflatoxin control activities.
The PACA’s Secretariat will focus on supporting African governments and work jointly with other key stakeholders to improve governments’ effectiveness through three categories of activities:
At the continental level, the Secretariat will support three types of activities:
Ø Continental and Inter-Regional Forums: Support continental PACA Community Forums and inter-regional Forums to promote alignment and collaboration across countries, share new developments and best practices, and resolve specific challenges / bottlenecks across countries and regions.
Ø Mainstreaming: Engage stakeholders to mainstream aflatoxin into continental frameworks (e.g., CAADP**, CODEX) to ensure aflatoxin issues are integrated and addressed within these platforms and that there is consistency and congruency between frameworks and harmonization across regions.
Ø Knowledge Management: Serve as a continental knowledge hub by identifying, documenting, and disseminating best practices and effective technologies; and serving as technical knowledge hub for aflatoxin related information.
At the regional level, the Secretariat will work closely with RECs to support four types of activities:
Ø Regional Forums: Support RECs to organize regional Forums to promote alignment and collaboration across countries, share new developments, and best practices, and resolve specific challenges and bottlenecks across regions.
Ø Mainstreaming: Support mainstreaming of aflatoxin in regional frameworks to ensure aflatoxin issues are integrated and addressed within these platforms and that there is consistency and congruency between frameworks and harmonization across countries.
Ø Country Planning: Work with RECs to support country plan preparation and execution.
At the country level, the Secretariat will work closely with RECs and local country stakeholders through a country steering committee to support the preparation, execution, and oversight of country government-led, and stakeholder aligned country plans. The Secretariat’s country activities will build on the country planning work already underway.
PACA Steering Committee Members and Alternates:
Ø African Union Commission (represented by Dr. Godfrey Bahiigwa)
Ø African Society of Mycotoxicologists (represented by Dr. Bradley Flett)
Ø Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (represented by Ms. Amsale Mengistu )
Ø East African Community (represented by Mr. Jean Baptiste Havugimana and Mr David Wafula )
Ø East African Farmers Federation (represented by Mr. Stephen Muchiri)
Ø Economic Community of West African States (represented by Mr. Ernest Aubee)
Ø Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (represented by Dr. Blaise Ouattara)
Ø Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (represented by Ms. Bonnie McClafferty and Mr. Penjani Mkambula)
Ø International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (represented by Dr. Ranajit Bandyopadhyay and Dr. Victor Manyong)
Ø Mars, Incorporated (represented by Dr. David Crean and Robert Baker)
Ø CAADP Non State Actors Coalition (represented by Mr. Kop’ep Dabugat)
Ø US Agency for International Development (represented by Dr. Ahmed Kablan and Mr. Patterson W. Brown)
Ø West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) (represented by Dr. Abdou Tenkouano
Ø PACA Secretariat (represented by Dr. Amare Ayalew)
** Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP)
b) Organizations that are working on African Agricultural Issues and their contact information:
1. Platform for African European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD)
PAEPARD is a longstanding network of agricultural research for development (ARD) collaborators from Europe and Africa.
2. Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
3. European Alliance on Agricultural Knowledge for Development (AGRINATURA)
4. The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA)
Is an international expert scientific committee that is administered jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
5. Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA)
The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) was established in 1983 under the Lomé Convention between the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and EU member states.
6. Peanut Mycotoxin and Innovation Lab (PMIL)
7. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRT)
8. Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
9. CGIAR (formerly the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research) is a global partnership that unites international organizations engaged in research for a food-secured future. CGIAR research is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring sustainable management of natural resources. It is carried out by 15 centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium, in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations, and the private sector. It does this through a network of 15 research centers known as the CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers
10. Biosciences eastern and central Africa - International Livestock Research Institute (BecA - ILRI) Hub
11. Capacity and Action for Aflatoxin Reduction in Eastern Africa (CAAREA)
12. CGSpace: A Repository of Agricultural Research Outputs
Communities in CGSpace: Select a community to browse its collections:
· AfricaRice 
· Africa RISING 
· AgriFood Chain Toolkit 
· Animal Genetic Resources Virtual Library 
· Bioversity International 
· Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) 
· CGIAR Antimicrobial Resistance Hub 
· CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) 
· CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research 
· CGIAR Collective Action in Eastern and Southern Africa 
· CGIAR Global Mountain Program 
· CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture 
· CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) 
· CGIAR Research Program on Livestock 
· CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) 
· CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) 
· CGIAR Research Programs and Platforms 
· CGIAR System 
· CGIAR System-wide Livestock Program 
· Feed the Future Accelerated Value Chain Development program in Kenya (AVCD) 
· Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small-Scale Irrigation 
· Feed the Future Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab 
· IGAD Livestock Policy Initiative 
· International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) 
· International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) 
· International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) 
· International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) 
· International Potato Center (CIP) 
· International Water Management Institute (IWMI) 
· Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) 
· Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) 
- Wielogorska, et al, J. Agric. Food Chem. 2019, 67, 2052−2060 (and references cited therein).
- Journal of Toxin Reviews, Volume 27, 2008, pp 171-201
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# Contact information:
Dr. Alim A. Fatah
Sterling, Virginia, USA
Email: [email protected]