Production Efficiency and Market Development of Peanuts and Peanut Products for Ghana, Benin, and Bulgaria (AUB 30)
The goal of AUB 30 was to evaluate the degree of awareness of the health risks of aflatoxins in peanuts by producers, marketers, and consumers and behavioral changes to minimize these risks; to examine the financial impact of aflatoxin, and evaluation the economic effects of different storage technologies including those to reduce aflatoxin.
An economic analysis of peanut production, was done by Dr. Nelly Bencheva, collaborator at the Agricultural University Plodiv, following training with, Dr. Curtis Jolly the U.S. principal investigator at Auburn University, Alabama. The goal of the analysis was toward the development of a business plan to assist investors in developing an economically viable plan to commercialize peanut production.
In general terms, the economic analysis showed that current peanut production was now only carried out on very small farms mainly for their own consumption rather than for the market place. Production was inefficient (low yields), there was little scope for mechanization and there was a move to the use of “own seeds" or farmer saved seeds rather than certified varieties. These changes were a result of the break-up of collective farms from Soviet times and it was difficult to see how this could be reversed as small farms were now in private ownership. It seemed very clear that if there was a market-pull in terms of increased demand from the Bulgarian domestic market or the European Union, it could not be satisfied from domestic production using existing practices. It might be more feasible to establish new commercial peanut production in Bulgaria to deliver efficient and cost beneficial supply than to attempt to reverse the changes that are fait accompli. Peanut production in Bulgaria, as a supply route to the European Union, has the potential competitive advantage of delivering products that are aflatoxin-free compared to other parts of the world, and may be able to produce organic peanuts for which there may be a niche market in the European Union and for which Bulgaria is uniquely able to deliver.
The project has been working in Ghana and Benin in addition to Bulgaria. Three workshops were held in Ghana with about 300 people in each case that followed up on the apparent lack of awareness among professionals of the health problems associated with aflatoxin. These workshops have been successful at the local level, and will facilitate the work of UAB 56 and TAM 50 in terms of intervention studies.
Dr. Curtis Jolly
Dr. Pauline Jolly, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Dr. Richard Awuah, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi
Dr. Nelly Bencheva, Agricultural University, Plodiv
Dr. Stanko Delikostadinov, Institute of Plant Genetic Resources, Sadovo
Dr. Emmanuel Prophete, Centre de Recherche de Documentation Agricole (CRDA)