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Tanzania news article on PACA C-SAAP Report

On Thursday, October 20, 2016, Tanzanian news outlet "The Citizen" published an article on the PACA Country-Led Situation Analysis and Action Plan report. The article reported that the Economic Assessment for Aflatoxin Contamination and Control in Tanzania says that aflatoxin is prevalent in the country and that over 3,300 people are diagnosed every year with liver cancer that is linked to aflatoxins. The C-SAAP report was compiled by researchers under the coordination of the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST). http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/News/3-000-lives-lost-to-food-poison-yearly-...

Uganda Holds Aflatoxin Business Meeting

The African Union Commission through the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) is working to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Governments to tackle the aflatoxin challenge in Africa. The PACA Secretariat, housed at the AUC’s Department for Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA), is working closely with Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and local country stakeholders through country aflatoxin Steering Committees to support the preparation, execution, and oversight of country government‐led, and stakeholder aligned plans. PACA and the Republic of Uganda convened a Business Meeting of stakeholders to agree on the funding strategy and implementation road map that will ensure sustainable and predictable funding for implementing the aflatoxin control action plan in the country. The Business Meeting took place in Kampala, Uganda on 28-29 July 2016.

H.E. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, AUC’s Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture opened the business meeting by assuring the Republic of Uganda, of the AUC’s commitment to support implementation of the aflatoxin control action plan, which will contribute to the agenda to regain its markets, people’s health and food security. She commended the progress made by the Republic of Uganda in institutionalizing PACA in its farming systems through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). Commissioner Tumusiime also officially launched the Uganda Mycotoxin Mitigation Steering Committee (UMMSC) which provides conceptual, strategic and policy guidance to the secretariat and Aflatoxin Technical Working Group (ATWG) – the Uganda Chapter, in the planning, implementation and coordination of mycotoxin mitigation activities in the country.

Hon. Ssempijja Vincent Bamulangaki Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Uganda, represented by Ag. Director of extension services, Mrs. Beatrice Byarugaba, committed to incorporate the aflatoxins mitigation under the Ministry’s Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan and to also take into account the multi-disciplinary roles of agriculture, health and trade ministries in fighting aflatoxins. Hon. Bamulangaki noted that without mitigating aflatoxins, it would be difficult to fully develop the fisheries, animal and crop sub-sectors in the country.

Dr. Patrick Tusiime, Commissioner, National Disease Control, representing the Ministry of Health, assured the meeting of the Ministry’s support in advancing interventions that address the impact of Aflatoxins particularly within the preventative context of disease management, noting that a healthy nation is a productive nation!

For more information, please review the Press Release.

High Level Roundtable on Food Safety and Aflatoxins: Time to take Action

On 12 April 2016, the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems and Nutrition (Global Panel) and the African Union Commission’s Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) brought together African policymakers to discuss food safety issues, and in particular aflatoxins, on the margins of the 12th CAADP Partnership Platform. The Roundtable was chaired by H.E. John Kufuor, former President of Ghana and co-chair of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition.

At the joint High Level Roundtable, the Global Panel launched its policy brief Assuring Safe Food Systems: Policy Options for a Healthier Food Supply, which reviews food safety issues that are critical to poor and vulnerable populations in low and middle-income countries.Participants discussed the food safety challenge on the African continent and its serious threat to the achievement of the Malabo Declaration. And, they identified promising pathways to addressing food safety in general and aflatoxin, in particular.

The High Level Roundtable Communique is available here.

The High Level Roundtable Press Release is available here.

SciDev features IARC Report and PACA Workshop

   

The publication "Mycotoxin Control in Low- and Middle Income Countries" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (published 17 February 2016) recommends various methods to reduce the threat of aflatoxins, including diet diversification and better ways of storing and processing grains.

Report results were shared during the Workshop on “Engaging the Health and Nutrition Sectors in Aflatoxin Control in Africa”. PACA in collaboration with Amref Health Africa and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) organized this workshop on 23-24 March 2016 at the AUC Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

SciDev reported on the publication and workshop in the following article on Varied diet repels poisoned fungus.

Position Announcement: Managing Director for the Aflasafe Technology Transfer Program

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the internationally recruited position of Managing Director for the Aflasafe Technology Transfer Program. The position announcement and application details are available here. Applications are due on 18 March 2016.

AUC and Mars, Incorporated sign agreement to tackle aflatoxins

Addis Ababa, 7 December 2015 - The African Union Commission and Mars, Incorporated, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to share food safety resources and expertise to control aflatoxins in food crops – a significant threat to food safety in Africa and a major deterrent to use of key African raw materials in global supply chains.

The press release is available at: http://aflatoxinpartnership.org/uploads/PR%20390%20-%20AUC%20MARS%20MOU.pdf

COMESA Request for EOIs to Develop Aflatoxin Regional Action Plan

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) requests Expressions of Interest (EOI) for consultancy service to develop the COMESA Aflatoxin Regional Action Plan. COMESA has received a grant from the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) towards the cost of Regional Workshop on the Aflatoxin Challenge in Eastern and Southern Africa (conducted in March 2014 in Lilongwe, Malawi) and developing a Comprehensive Regional Aflatoxin Mitigation Plan. COMESA intends to apply a portion of the proceeds of this grant for Consultancy Services to develop a Regional Aflatoxin Control Action Plan. EOI’s are due on or before 13 November 2015. Please find the Request for EOI here.

Malawi’s toxic harvest

SciDev.Net reports that in Malawi, floods followed by drought have led to a 30 per cent reduction in Malawi’s maize harvest and left the country facing its most severe food crisis for over ten years. Between now and March, more than two million Malawians will struggle to find enough food, the UN’s World Food Programme forecasts. On top of this, much of the harvest will be contaminated with aflatoxin that can cause cancer and liver damage, and stunt children’s growth.

PACA participates in UN CFS 42 Side Event

PACA participated in the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) 42 on 12-15 October 2015, FAO, Rome, Italy. Dr. Amare Ayalew, PACA Program Director, featured in a side event on "Multi-Sector Partnerships Drive  Food Safety Solutions." As one of five panel members, he described the strategic focus of PACA and the role its partnerships play in using research, expertise and other capabilities to seek solutions for controlling, managing and ultimately eliminating aflatoxins in Africa. Other panel members included:

  • Mr. Jay Aldous, World Food Programme (WFP) who described the challenges WFP faces in feeding millions of people under adverse economic, social and environmental conditions and describes WFP’s efforts to adapt to purchasing local commodities to process, manufacture and disseminate safe, affordable and nutritious foods.
  • Ms. Paulina S. Addy, Ministry of Food & Agriculture, Government of Ghana who focused on the gender dimensions of agricultural programs, including safe handling of agricultural commodities from post production and building capacity on safety at small scale food processing sites and markets.
  • Mr. Dave Crean, Mars, Incorporated who described business roles in addressing aflatoxins; the need and value of building partnerships throughout the food value chains; and offers insights into Mars partnerships, including the newly launched Mars Global Food Safety Center in China and the unique characteristics of this center of excellence.   .
  • Dr. Mandana Arabi, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) who described GAIN’s innovative Business Platform for Nutrition Research (BPNR) with multi sector stakeholders to assess critical issues such as behavior change modification, biomarkers and establishing research priorities for mycotoxins, including aflatoxins.

Kenyan Government approves use of Aflasafe KE01 to fight aflatoxins

For the first time, Kenyan farmers will have access to a product that can dramatically reduce aflatoxin contamination. During the 127th meeting of the Board of Management, the Pest Control Products Board (PCPB) held on 29 June 2015 granted full registration status to the biocontrol product Aflasafe KE01™, with the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) as the registrant, paving the way for its unhindered use in Kenya. For more information, please click here.

Aflasafe received media attention, which can be seen at the following links:

Please visit the Aflasafe Facebook page for frequent updates.

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