On August 12, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored a workshop introducing Zambian millers, agrifood processors, storage operators and commercial farmers to Blue Box technology to help control aflatoxin contamination in storage facilities.
The Blue Box is an affordable precision tool kit composed of sampling and testing instruments that provides on the spot quality control to monitor crop or grain condition. It can be used both in the field and in storage facilities at any stage in the value chain. In storage facilities, the results can be used to control for conditions that may contribute to the growth of the aflatoxin fungus such as temperature, moisture, and humidity.
The workshop was attended by managers from ETG, Simba Milling Company, Mpongwe Milling company, AFGRI, Food Reserve Agency, OLAM, Java Foods, Pembe Milling, Precision holdings, Zambia Export Growers Association, the Zambia National Farmers Union, and COMACO.
The Blue Box tool kit comes with full service backup and training. The Trade Hub is currently supporting Intertek to expand laboratory testing services in Malawi and Mozambique through a Strategic Partnership Grant.
A follow-up workshop to supply the tool kits and encourage business-to-business dealings between participants will be held alongside the Zambia Commercial Farmers show in Lusaka on October 8, 2015.
Photo: Intertek Africa Region Technical Manager, Charles Botha, leads a practical demonstration of the Blue Box technology.