Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)
 


Stemming Aflatoxin in the Groundnut Chain in Sub-Saharan Africa
FANRPAN Policy Brief
1 April 2016


Background

Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.), a tropical food crop is a rich source of multiple nutrients with associated health benefits. Among others, consumption of good quality groundnuts helps to reduce the risk of cancer and obesity, boosts memory, combats depression, prevents several cardiovascular disorders, and treats hemophilia and other blood related disorders (Sanders et al., 2000; Ros, 2010; Vinson and Cai, 2012; Allen, 2008; King et al., 2008). However, the presence of aflatoxins, poisonous and cancer-causing compounds that are produced by certain pathogenic molds (mainly Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus) compromise the health safety and nutritional value of the crop thereby affecting the marketability of groundnuts. This policy brief has been specifically prepared to highlight the importance of aflatoxins on human health and trade in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It contextualizes, (i) the preharvest and post-harvest factors that influence the proliferation of molds and aflatoxin contamination in groundnuts in the SSA region, (ii) discusses feasible prevention and management strategies and (iii) presents recommendations .

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