Food safety has become recognized as an essentialcomponent of food security. Aflatoxins are a highlytoxic fungal substance...
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Safe maize for Africa: Capacity and Action for Aflatoxin Reduction in Eastern Africa (CAAREA)

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Poster prepared by Jagger Harvey and Gbemenou Josel for the ILRI APM 2013, Addis Ababa, 15-17 May 2013

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Safe maize for Africa: Capacity and Action for Aflatoxin Reduction in Eastern Africa (CAAREA)

  1. 1. Food safety has become recognized as an essentialcomponent of food security. Aflatoxins are a highlytoxic fungal substance produced by Aspergillus fungi,which contaminate maize and other food crops, posinga major threat to food safety and human health ineast and central Africa. In East Africa, over 100 millionpeople depend on maize as a staple food. Any threatto this important food and feed crop compromisesthe livelihoods of people and reduces food securityin the region. For the first time in Africa, a regionalfacility for mycotoxin (fungal toxins) analysis has beenestablished at the BecA-ILRI Hub, through an AUD$2million project funded by the Australian Agency forInternational Development (AusAID), through theBecA-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial ResearchOrganisation (CSIRO) partnership. The ComprehensiveAfrica Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)recently set aflatoxins as a high priority research area,establishing the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control inAfrica (PACA). This project contributes to aspects of thePACA overall aims for Africa, and it is predicted that theproject will impact over 20 million farmers in Kenya andTanzania.An estimated 4.5 billion people are chronicallyexposed (WHO) and 25% of the global food supplycontaminated (FAO).- Drought increases crop susceptibility to aflatoxinaccumulation- Chronic exposure: •Causal: cancer •Correlated: stunting children’s development, nutrient uptake, immunosuppression- Acute exposure: death (e.g., Kenya outbreaks)- Contamination of food and feed: • Crops, dairy products, meat, eggs •Maize is particularly susceptible to aflatoxin accumulation •Humans and livestock are susceptible •Negative impact on agriculture, health, trade and environment •Often undetectable/invisible1. Establish an aflatoxin research platform at BecA-ILRI,2. Characterize maize fungi from around Kenya andTanzania.3. Identify maize germplasm resistant to aflatoxinaccumulation (G x E).4. Test modelling as a potential predictive tool and tocontextualize findings regionally(risk map).5.National breeders will affect subsequent changes tomaize breeding programs in Kenya and Tanzania.Aflatoxin/mycotoxin diagnostics and mycology platformestablished and validated at the BecA-ILRI Hub and inuse by African and international partners. It is one of akind on the continent.PLATFORM USERS2011-12: Kenya, Cameroon, CornellUniversity, International Centre of Insect Physiologyand Ecology (ICIPE)Additional expected in 2013: Ethiopia, Tanzania,International Food Policy Research Institute,International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center(CIMMYT), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture(IITA).Kenya Agricultural Research Insitute (KARI) hasconducted the first ever Aspergillus inoculated fieldtrials in the region. This is KARI’s first opportunity toscreen for aflatoxin resistance in maize. Tanzaniantrials are also underway.Biobank of maize fungi established in Tanzania, atthe Mikocheni Agricultural Research Institute (MARI).Capacity built through training and involvement ofTanzanian researchers in fungal isolations.Isolation, characterization (e.g., toxin production) andgenotyping (diversity analysis) of 125 Aspergillus flavusisolates from smallholder farmer maize in Kenya andTanzania; characterization with additional isolates isongoing.Novel diagnostics methods (e.g., Near InfraredSpectroscopy calibration for fumonisin, anothermycotoxin; electronic nose).On farm survey (2013): will help the team to determinemagnitude of the problem, develop an aflatoxin riskmap, and begin assessing the likely impact of differentinterventions.Capacity building: reciprocal visits between the BecAand Australian labs for training and research; training ofTanzanian researchers at MARI; AusAID scholarship PhDstudents starting in 2013; three MSc students acrossKenya and Tanzania; weather stations providing datato all national partner projects at stations (e.g., KARIPerkerra).Communications: two stakeholder workshops (Kenyaand Tanzania); contributions at Partnership for AflatoxinControl in Africa (PACA) meetings; NIR News article.KenyaBecA-ILRI Hub: Jagger Harvey (Project Leader, geneticist) Benoit Gnonlonfin (postdoc,mycologist) Samuel Mutiga (Cornell PhD student); James Wainaina & Immaculate Wanjuki(technicians) Eric MagembeKARI: James Karanja (national maize breeder) Festus Murithi (socioeconomist) and teamsTanzaniaARI: Arnold Mushongi (national maize breeder) and team Ministry of Agriculture and FoodSecurity: Deogratias Lwezaura (agriculturaleconomist) and teamOpen University of Tanzania: Said Massomo (plant pathologist)AustraliaCSIRO: Ross Darnell (biometrician) Nai Tran-Dinh (mycologist) Stephen Trowell and AmaliaBerna (biosensor technology)CSIRO/HarvestChoice: Darren Kriticos (ecological modeller) Univ.Queensland/QAAFI: Mary Fletcher (natural product organic chemist) Glen Fox (NIR expert)QDAFF: Yash Chauhan (APSIM modelling) Warwick Turner (analytical chemist)USACornell University: Rebecca Nelson (molecular plant pathologist) Michael Milgroom(population biologist) HarvestChoice/Univ. Minnesota: Phil Pardey (agricultural economist)and Jason Beddow (postdoc, applied economics)South Africa University of Pretoria/HarvestChoice: Frikkie Liebenberg (survey coordination)Authors: Jagger Harvey, PhD and Gbemenou Joselin Benoit Gnonlonfin, PhDAflatoxin: a hidden threat to human health, trade anddevelopment in sub-Saharan AfricaProject ObjectivesProject PartnersOutputsSafe Maize for AfricaCapacity and Action for Aflatoxin Reduction in Eastern Africa (CAAREA)BecA-CSIRO Partnership Flagship ProjectThis document is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported LicenseMay 2013Aflatoxin-contaminated Grain

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