Gender Issues in Aflatoxin Incidence and Control in Groundnut Production Systems of West Africa (VT 54)
The goals of VT 54 were to identify current and traditional practices in peanut growing, harvesting and post-harvest in Uganda related to aflatoxin contamination, educate women farmers and housewives on health risks of aflatoxin and how to reduce levels of contamination, evaluate costs of meeting European Standards for aflatoxin contamination, establish baseline for present human exposure to aflatoxin, survey aflatoxin content of groundnuts for sale in the Kampala market, support farmers to form associations and facilitate contact with European processing firms, support Ministry of Health and relevant Ugandan institutions to carry out information and education campaigns (IEC) on health issues related to aflatoxin, and disseminate findings on aflatoxin levels and protocol to the Bureau of Standards and assist in formulation of a practical approach to the reduction of aflatoxin contamination levels. D. Cross-cutting, Information, and Training (information, technology transfer, program management).
In Senegal, farm level surveys were carried out in 2002 to collect data on farming, post-harvest processing, storage, and health issues related to aflatoxin. The surveys involved first-year students at ENEA as part of their studies. A report was prepared in 2003. Due to slow progress in identifying collaborators, the project was moved to Uganda in June 2003 . In Uganda, surveys were conducted in 2003 and 2004. Farm level and market surveys showed low levels of aflatoxin contamination immediately after harvest and drying. However, processed peanuts on sale in urban market centers contain aflatoxin levels of 2-3 times higher than the WHO allowable limits and 10 times higher than the EU standards, an indication that aflatoxin contamination occurs during post-harvest handling and processing stages. Results showed that aflatoxin issues were unknown to a vast majority of Ugandan population surveyed, from university professors to farm families. Only health professionals and agronomists knew about aflatoxin contamination and the health effects. The Ministry of Health and the Bureau of Standards appreciated the results of the market survey that showed high level of aflatoxin contamination of peanut products sold in the local markets.
Dr. Colette Harris
Dr. Kathleen Stadler (until 2004), Virginia Tech University
Dr. William Eigel, Virginia Tech University
Not designated, L’École nationale d’Économie appliquée, Dakar
Uganda Collaborators (project moved to Uganda in 2003)
Dr. Achieleo Kaaya, Department of Food Science and Technology, Kampala
Dr. Margaret Mangheni, Department of Agricultural Extension, Kampala
Dr. Connie Kyalislima, Department of Animal Science, Makerere University, Kampala