The European Alliance on Agricultural knowledge for Development

Zonal workshop on the Aflatoxin Challenge in Northern Uganda

26th May 2016. Lira, Northern Uganda. The National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) in partnership with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Ngetta Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (NGEZARDI) held a Zonal workshop on the aflatoxin challenge.

The zonal aflatoxin workshop was attended by a total of sixty one (61) participants, including aflatoxin experts drawn from 3 NARO National institutes and Ngetta ZARDI. 
 

See the proceedings of this meeting 
Aflatoxin Challenge in Northern Uganda and the role of communication on mitigating the aflatoxin induced decline in house hold productivity. Theme: Improving Health, productivity and Food Security through Zonal Efforts to Mitigate Aflatoxin Contamination.

The objectives of the workshop were: 
  1. to sensitize stakeholders in the production value chain, high-level decision-makers and industry leaders on the magnitude of the aflatoxin challenge in the zone; 
  2. engage multi-stake holder platforms, experts and relevant stakeholders on setting zonal priorities and initiating work on the zonal action plan. 

The workshop identified priority areas necessary for combating the aflatoxin challenge and the proposed interventions for dealing with the challenges were also proposed. The challenges identified include low awareness among key actors / stakeholders, knowledge gaps and ignorance inadequate capacity in human resources, systems and infrastructure and weak regulatory frameworks. 

The workshop proposed interventions which included: 
  • Regulatory system to show where Aflatoxin is and how much, determine risk to justify intervention, 
  • awareness raising campaigns, 
  • institutions and individuals to champion costs and share data. 
  • Communication to the farmers – to get buy-in from the farmers and enhancing awareness creation through targeted education, 
  • knowledge sharing; mass media etc, to include food safety (aflatoxin).
Communication challenges

  • Aflatoxins are colourless and odourless 
  • Aflatoxins may form even before visible mould growth; BUT not all mould results in toxin 
  • Only through analysis (mostly lab BUT now also field base) are aflatoxins detected 
  • Translating survey results and risks in a way that is informative for a majority of stakeholders is a challenge. everyone should be concerned 
  • Control measures show rarely immediate or visible effect 
  • Management practices – do make grains cleaner 
  • Biocontrol – no to little effect 
  • Control measures are mostly labour (management) or capital intensive (inputs) 
  • A large number and categories of stakeholders and sectors need to co-operate and collaborate to effectively address aflatoxin (effect in health; solutions in agriculture)

Important lessons

  • Finding a local concept for aflatoxin (using already known concepts, often hard to describe in local language) 
  • Researchers might not be the best communicators of this local information 
  • Use of a combination of communication media and methods builds understanding 
  • Innovation Platforms, Learning Alliances, multi-stakeholder processes – will be of central importance 
  • Finding a local concept for aflatoxin (using already known concepts, often hard to describe in local language) 
  • Researchers might not be the best communicators of this local information 
  • Use of a combination of communication media and methods builds understanding 
  • Innovation Platforms, Learning Alliances, multi-stakeholder processes – will be of central importance


Source: PAEPARD FEED

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