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May 30, 2012

Aflatoxin Detection Kits Restart African Peanut Exports

Aflatoxin Detection Kits Solve African Peanut Farmers' Testing Problems.

Aflatoxin detection kits
have held peanut farmers determine
if their harvests are aflatoxin free.  This is
important as exports need to meet
testing requirements in Europe or the United States
Photo: MTU
The distribution of affordable aflatoxin detection kits has helped solved a big problem for African peanut farmers.  Aflatoxins are toxins produced by fungi.  They regularly infest crops after they are harvested, when produce is stored inadequately in warm weather.  Aflatoxins attack maize, groundnuts and other crops.

In Africa, peanut farmers are especially vulnerable to aflatoxin infestation, which render their harvest ineligible for exports. In recent years, new testing requirements recommended by the European importers have jeopardized US$670 million annually in African groundnut exports.

Affordable aflatoxin detection kits are a solution that ICRISAT, the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics has put into action.  ICRISAT has made aflatoxin detection kit available at the low cost of US$1. Using these aflatoxin detection kits, African groundnut producers are able to quickly determine if their harvest has an aflatoxin infestation or if it is aflatoxin-free and can pass export testing requirements.

In addition to providing affordable aflatoxin detection kits, ICRISAT has also been helping to reduce the incidents of aflatoxin contamination by helping to improve storage facilities.

For more see:

"Peanut Farmers Back in Business," CGIAR Consortium Office, 30 May 2012.

Mkoka, Charles. "Purging Malawi's Peanuts of Deadly Aflatoxin," SciDev.Net, 7 November 2007.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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