Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab

A blog about leading science in peanut and food security.

Conference focuses on storage problems, including aflatoxin, in Africa

Sponsors including the Africa Union’s Partnership for Aflatoxin Control (PACA), Abt Associates, the Schooner Africa Fund, AGCO/GSI and GrainPro brought together leaders last week for the first Africa Strategic Grain Reserve Conference, which touched on a variety of storage challenges, including aflatoxin control.

The event – which was held in Nairobi – gave a chance to discuss large-scale storage and national grain reserves from the perspective of users, experts, and policy-makers, as well as look at new storage strategies to improve food security and food safety in Africa.

Partners included the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Farm Concern International, Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS), and the World Food Preservation Center.

Speakers specifically addressed aflatoxin contamination in grain stored by small-holder farmers and by large-scale growers, and talked about hermetic storage, grain silos, and Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) and grain storage.

Grain loss and contamination problems can be different for large storage programs and for small-holder farmers holding onto a crop for a better price, as reported in this recent article on the conference, forcing policy-makers to think of solutions for both.

While most of Kenya’s grain is bought by the national storage program, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Secretary Willy Bett said recently that small-holder farmers were holding 5.2 million bags of maize (out of 10.9 million of total production) waiting on a higher price.

 

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