Aflatoxin-contaminated groundnut kernels

Aflatoxin-contaminated groundnut kernels from Mozambique (photo credit: IITA).

On 3-4 September 2012 participants from five CGIAR centres met at the headquarters of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi to share about their current activities related to mycotoxin research and to plan for how these different activities might work together within the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) mycotoxin research portfolio.

Representatives from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA),  the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and ILRI presented their current mycotoxin research activities, the challenges they are facing and opportunities for further work.

The group selected three major focus areas of mycotoxin research:

  • risk and impact assessment
  • values chains
  • biocontrol

These focal areas were selected based on their potential to be used as platforms for other research and for the strategic opportunity harmonizing existing efforts within the CGIAR system would bring.

During the meeting, participants started to identify opportunities and potential partners within these major areas, and the refinement of this list will continue in the weeks following the meeting.

Partners working in the East Africa region attended part of the meeting to share information about mycotoxin research, the policy environment, mitigation efforts and levels of awareness and education in the region.

They also provided helpful input on the opportunities identified by A4NH researchers during the meeting.

A follow-up meeting is tentatively planned for January 2013.

Article contributed by Amanda Wyatt of IFPRI.