NEWS: Tanager & Helvetas announce new aflatoxin research project

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 10, 2020 – Deepening their work in the peanut and cashew value chains, Tanager and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation (Helvetas) today announced the launch of a seven-month research project to study aflatoxin prevalence in the peanut and cashew value chains in northern Mozambique. This study is conducted within the Sustainable Cashew & Peanut Small Business project AMCANE implemented by Helvetas, Aga Khan Foundation, and the Swiss private company PAKKA. The research will help identify the main causes of aflatoxin contamination during critical stages of the peanut production and postharvest cycle with the goal of improving livelihoods for smallholder peanut farmers.

Aflatoxin contamination is serious threat to the livelihoods of peanut farmers. According to estimates, as much as 47 percent of the world’s peanut supply—and 25 percent of the world’s food crops—are contaminated by aflatoxin, which is known to cause cancer and other health risks. Often, aflatoxin contamination is not well understood at the farm level where farmers are unaware of its existence, and local and regional markets do not test for its presence. This creates both a public health risk in the local markets and lost market opportunities when crops are test and rejected for processing and export.

The study will help Helvetas formulate data driven recommendations for improved management and control of aflatoxin in Mozambique, produce valuable insights to help combat aflatoxin contamination in peanut production, and serve as the baseline for proposing solutions to peanut market actors’ management of aflatoxin content in their products.

Tanager will work alongside Helvetas’ technical staff to analyze the prevalence of aflatoxin in three districts of Cabo Delgado and Nampula provinces and measure aflatoxin prevalence in northern Mozambique through representative sample collection methods, farmer survey analysis, and testimonials from smallholder farmers and traders regarding the importance of improved peanut quality.

Tanager, an ACDI/VOCA affiliate, is an international nonprofit that brings people together at the table, on the ground, and across supply chains to co-create economic and social opportunities that change lives. Working closely with our partners, we align interests to expand market access and unlock the full potential of shared market opportunities that result in reliable supply chains, stable incomes, healthy families, and resilient communities. Established in 1993, we work with the ACDI/VOCA family of companies to make agriculture work better for people. We offer a focused and diligent team of locally based experts and international advisors who work with our partners to reach common goals.

Helvetas is committed to a just world in which all men and women determine the course of their lives in dignity and security, using environmental resources in a sustainable manner. Helvetas is an independent organization for development based in Switzerland with affiliated organizations in Germany and the United States. Helvetas supports poor and disadvantaged women, men and communities in about thirty developing and transition countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Helvetas is actively engaged in Mozambique since 1979.