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Development outcomes and impact of scaling-up of aflatoxin biocontrol in Africa

Ranajit Bandyopadhyay: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

<div>A high proportion of maize and groundnuts produced and consumed in sub-Saharan Africa are contaminated with aflatoxin. Aflatoxin poses a significant public health risk, decreases productivity and profitability of animal industries, and hampers trade. To minimize aflatoxin contamination in maize and groundnut, a biocontrol technology, based on atoxigenic strains of <em>Aspergillus flavus</em> that do not produce aflatoxin, has been adapted and improved for use in Africa. Using incentivization mechanisms and commercialization approaches, this proven technology is being scaled up for use in >500,000 hectares in 11 African nations through a mix of public, private, and public-private-partnership interventions. Farmers and agribusinesses in Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal and The Gambia have begun treating large area of maize and groundnut fields annually and achieved significant reduction in aflatoxin contamination. Users of the technology are able to sell their aflatoxin-reduced crops to quality conscious food and feed industries at a premium thus earning higher income. At the same time, farmers also keep part of their harvest for home consumption thus improving family health. This presentation will provide evidence that large-scale deployment of biological control is improving food security, promoting trade, contributing to healthier farm families, and creating wealth.</div>

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