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From one to many: Effective aflatoxin management in farmers' fields in West and East Africa
R. BANDYOPADHYAY (1), P. J. Cotty (2), J. Atehnkeng (1), S. E. Bonkoungou (3), K. A. Callicott (2), R. Jaime-Garcia (4), C. K. Mutegi (5), C. Probst (6), L. Senghor (7). (1) International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria; (2) USDA/ARS, School of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, U.S.A.; (3) INERA, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina faso; (4) University of Arizona, School of Plant Sciences, T

Aflatoxin (AF) contamination occurs throughout sub-Saharan Africa reducing trade opportunities and exposing populations to a potent carcinogen that causes liver cirrhosis, stunting, and reduced immune function. Use of atoxigenic strains of <i>Aspergillus flavus</i> to competitively exclude AF producers is an established tool for AF prevention in the US. Utilizing the same principles, highly effective biocontrol products were developed for several African nations. Each product uses 4 genetically distinct atoxigenic isolates of <i>A. flavus</i> as active ingredients. The isolates are endemic to target nations to ensure no introduction of exotics and adaptation to target agroecosystems. Adaptation to Africa began in Nigeria where the resulting product aflasafe™ was evaluated in farmer’s fields for 5 seasons on over 500 fields. Treatments reduced AF by 82-95% in maize and peanut. Also in West Africa, products for Senegal (aflasafe SN01) and Burkina Faso (aflasafe BF01) were evaluated in farmer’s fields for multiple seasons with reductions exceeding 75%. Aflasafe KE01, developed for Kenya in East Africa, where lethal aflatoxicoses has been repeatedly reported had excellent efficacy on farm for two seasons. In one area, untreated controls averaged >1,100 ppb and treated fields <75 ppb. The aflasafe biocontrol products have area-wide and long-term influences that offer real promise for relieving human populations in Africa of the health effects caused by chronic AF exposure.

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