Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab

A blog about leading science in peanut and food security.

IARC releases free book on mycotoxin control

An aflatoxin research guide previously sold by the World Health Organization now is available for free as a downloadable PDF.

“Improving Public Health through Mycotoxin Control” contains a “scientific description of the occurrence and effects of mycotoxins but also goes further by outlining approaches to reduce mycotoxin exposure aimed at improving public health in low-income countries,” according to the International Agency for Research Center (IARC).  In the past, the guide only was available by purchasing a printed copy from the WHO, but now, after a five-year effort, researchers throughout the world can access the document through the IARC website. (more…)

Postharvest loss symposium accepting abstracts

The deadline is approaching to submit an abstract for the IV International Symposium on Postharvest Pathology, which will be held in South Africa in May 2017.

The conference is organised by the University of Pretoria, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences under the auspices of ISHS (International Society for Horticultural Science) and ISPP (International Society for Plant Pathology).

Online abstract submission is through the ROSA system and will close on 30 November 2016.

To submit your abstract, click here.


Ugandan president speaks at 2nd annual PACA meeting

The second Partnership Platform Meeting for the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa was held 11-13 October in Entebbe, Uganda. The event followed the theme: “Tracking commitments, sustaining implementation for results and impact.” pr-355-president-museveni-opens-paca-pp-1

Ugandan President H.E. Yoweri Museveni offered the opening remarks, calling for a more concerted and proactive effort to educate the public about aflatoxin and how it can impact their health. Aflatoxin is created by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on grain and other crops – most notably maize and peanuts/groundnuts. In high doses or with prolonged exposure it can cause stunting in children, liver damage and cancer.

Approximately 270 stakeholders from across Africa and beyond attended the PACA gathering, including heads of state, ministers and other senior government officials from African Union countries, farmer organizations, consumer associations, large and small business sector representatives, civil society, academia and development partners.  (more…)

Join in discussion on post-harvest cassava loss

An upcoming moderated discussion will explore post-harvest cassava technology and value addition for food security and income generation on the BiomassNet Dgroup.

The discussion is facilitated by Prof. Paul Amaza, an agricultural economist. He has experience with cassava value chain and collaborating with IITA on a number of cassava research for development projects. He has worked in West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa on cassava value chain development and related issues.  (more…)

Fertilizer training course set for Accra in December

The International Fertilizer Development Center will hold a training program in Accra on 12-16 December. The training is meant to improve productivity and net returns for smallholder farmers through technology.

The training is for farmers; agronomists, soil scientists, researchers, and extension agents; policymakers from governments and ministries in charge of agricultural productivity and planning; executives and managers of fertilizer and agricultural input organizations; representatives of international organizations and donors and others.

The early bird registration rate of $1,500 is available through Oct. 21.

To find out more about the program, go to IFDC’s event page.

World Food Prize events broadcast online

As agriculture leaders from around the world gather in Iowa world-food-prizeto celebrate this year’s World Food Prize laureates and discuss challenges and opportunities related to food security, many of the meetings will be live-streamed and webcast for people who could not attend.

Keep up with what’s going on via Twitter — #WorldFoodPrize – or log on to watch the 2016 Borlaug Dialogue live.

You might also check out the BIFAD (Board for International Food and Agricultural Devleopment program entitled “Metrics for Accountability: Tracking Progress and Identifying Gaps in Development Investments,” which will include the Scientific Award for Excellence in a Feed the Future Innovation Lab.


New guide helps fight destructive groundnut leaf miner

Groundnut leaf miner is a serious threat to groundnut production in sub-Saharan Africa, but a new brochure puts together up-to-date advice to identify and control the pest.screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-4-52-10-pm

The guide was produced by Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab collaborator David Okello, the head of the Groundnut Improvement Program of the National Semi-Arid Research Resources Institute in Uganda.

First identified in Uganda in 1998, groundnut leaf miner has spread to Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Uganda and Mozambique, the pest has destroyed whole crops of groundnuts; it also attacks soybean, cowpea, alfalfa, pigeon pea, other legumes and cotton.

The guide, which can be downloaded from the PMIL site, covers how to identify the larval and moth stage of the pest, which varieties are resistant and different control measures. A poster version of the information also is available through PMIL.

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