Managing aflatoxin in smallholder groundnut production in Southern Africa

  • 17th May 2018
  • by secretary
Managing aflatoxin in smallholder groundnut production in Southern Africa: Paired comparison of the windrow and Mandela cock techniques
Limbikani Matumba, Lazarus Singano, Bruno Tran, Mweshi Mukanga, Beatrice Makwenda, Wycliffe Kumwenda, Sharif Mgwira, Sam Phiri, Frazer Mataya, Talentus Mthunzi, Sharon Alfred, Tshilidzi Madzivhandila, Jonas Mugabe, Ben Bennett, Tim Chancellor
Elsevier Crop Protection Volume 112, October 2018, Pages 18–23

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Timely drying of groundnuts is important after harvest. In most parts of sub-Saharan Africa, moisture content reduction is practically achieved by solar drying. In particular, the groundnuts are traditionally cured in the field using the inverted windrow drying technique. Recently, the Mandela cock technique, a ventilated stack of groundnut plants with a chimney at the center, has been introduced in the southern Africa region with the aim of reducing moisture content and the risk of aflatoxin contamination. 
An on-farm study was conducted in Malawi to compare the effectiveness of the Mandela cock and Windrow drying techniques with respect to aflatoxin control. 
  • For two consecutive years, farmers (2016, n = 29; 2017; n = 26) were recruited to test each of the two drying techniques. 
  • A mixed-design ANOVA showed that the Mandela cock groundnut drying technique led to significantly (p < 0.001) higher aflatoxin levels in groundnut seed compared to the traditional inverted windrow drying (5.7 μg/kg, geometric mean vs 2.5 μg/kg in 2016 and 37.6 μg/kg vs 8.4 μg/kg in 2017). 

The present findings clearly demonstrate the need for regulation and technology validation if farmers and consumers are to benefit.

See also: 

The African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) backstopped and facilitated by the Centre for Agricultural Extension and Rural Development (AGRIDEA) on behalf of the project Postharvest Management in Sub-Saharan Africa (PHM-SSA) will hold two webinars:

  1. the first Webinar on Tuesday 5th June 2018 
  2. and the second Webinar on Tuesday 4th September 2018, 
  3. all from 14:00-16:00 East African Time (12:00-14:00 West African Time and 13:00 to 15:00 South African/Central European time).
  4. The webinars will feature specialized panelists on the topic including:
  5. Raphael Dischl from Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation
    Limbikani Mutumba /Joao Mutondo from Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)