Pre-test of experimental auctions for certified aflatoxin-free groundnuts in Mali.
Photo: M. Tiongco

03.04.2013

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Food contaminated by aflatoxins is one of the most serious consequences that poor post-harvest management can have. In May 2004, for example, numerous fatalities were recorded in Kenya that could be traced back to the consumption of maize poisoned by the fungus. The Aflacontrol project sought to provide empirical evidence of the cost-effectiveness of aflatoxin risk-reduction strategies along maize and groundnut value chains in Africa and to understand what prevents adoption of these control strategies.

During the Aflacontrol project (see Box below), run between 2009 and 2011, maize samples were collected each month before harvesting, in storage (15- to 30-day intervals) and in the markets from Kenya’s Upper Eastern (Embu/Mbeere), Lower Eastern (Makueni, Machakos) and South Western (Kisii/Rongo/Homa Bay) regions, and aflatoxin prevalence levels were analysed. In the course of the analysis, Mahuku et al. (2011) found that aflatoxin prevalence in Kenya was much more widespread and also higher than expected.

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