At the end of January 2016, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub reviewed a technical report assessing aflatoxin management awareness and mitigation strategies implemented by the Trade Hub over the past five years.
The assessment found that, following the Trade Hub program, farmers are now more knowledgeable of the causes and effects of aflatoxin contamination, methods to reduce the risks of contamination, and techniques to remove contaminated nuts from groundnuts for household consumption or sale.
The report noted that the use of local farmer leaders as trainers, with the support of organizations like local NGOs, national farmers’ unions, and local farmers’ associations, was an effective strategy that promises continuity and sustainability. The assessment found that the greatest threat to the gains made in reducing aflatoxin contamination comes from farmers not associated with any organization or farmer group who have thus not participated in aflatoxin mitigation training. This creates a large group of farmers without sufficient knowledge on aflatoxin management and with the potential to spread contamination to the entire value chain.
The report recommends that local NGOs require continued support to build capacity for monitoring and to provide appropriate training materials (in simplified local languages with more visual aides) for farmer trainers.
Photo: Participants at a focus group interview in Muecate, Mozambique