On September 15, 2015, Intertek Laboratories demonstrated the “Blue Box” technology at the USAID Southern Africa mission in Pretoria, South Africa. 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.
It allows farmers and storage operators to better control for temperature, moisture and humidity - conditions that contribute to the growth of the aflatoxin-producing fungus. USAID has awarded a Strategic Partnership Grant to Intertek through the Southern Africa Trade Hub to roll out this technology in Malawi and Zambia. (continued)
Aflatoxin presents a serious food safety and health concern for those who consume it, and aflatoxin contamination creates significant barriers to trade, affecting livelihoods across Africa. Through the Trade Hub, USAID has been introducing various technologies and post harvest handling practices to reduce the spread of aflatoxin in staple crops.
Photo: William Benjamin, Feed The Future Coordinator and Agriculture Team Leader, and Patricia Rwasoka-Masanganise, Senior Agricultural Development Specialist of USAID's Regional Economic Growth with Intertek representatives.