Stories and Articles of Interest

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AJFAND Special Issue: Call for papers for special edition on aflatoxins in East Africa

Guest editors: Delia Grace, Johanna Lindahl, Erastus Kang’ethe (TBC), Jagger Harvey (TBC)
This proposal for a special edition on aflatoxins in East Africa aims to address the problem of aflatoxins in a region that has been severely affected in the past.
The aim is to publish top-class original research and reviews, and provide an overview of the situation as well as the ongoing research efforts and the knowledge gaps.
Potential topics include (but are not limited to):
• Presence of aflatoxin in commodities in East Africa
• Assessment of the health impacts in humans
• Assessment of health and productivity impacts in animals
• Data on knowledge attitudes and practices in the region
• Laboratory research findings applicable to East Africa
• Potential mitigation methods

• Inform the journal ( or RKOniango@ruraloutreach of your interest to submit a paper in the topic: January 31, 2015
• Submission of full paper, revised according to journal standard and proof-read: March 31, 2015

Before submission, authors must carefully read the guidelines for authors at and make sure the paper conforms to this. In addition, papers must be proof-read for English fluency. Papers not fulfilling this will not be processed further.


Report on the Launch of KALRO Katumani Mycotoxin Testing Lab and Ground-Breaking of Aflasafe Modular Manufacturing Facility

Report prepared by:

Ms. Mary Njeri Karanu
Program Officer, Rural Outreach Africa
Josem Trust Place, Off Bunyala Road, Upperhill, P.O. Box 29086-00625, Nairobi, KENYA

On November 11, 2014 I visited KALRO Katumani for the launch of the state-of-the-art mycotoxin testing lab and ground breaking of the Aflasafe KE01 manufacturing facility. The event was graced by Hon. Felix Kosgei, Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, among other notable stakeholders and supporters.

Kenya is a hotspot for aflatoxin contamination. Losses experienced from aflatoxin contamination are felt throughout the value chain, affecting farmers, traders, millers and consumers. The lab at Katumani will serve Kenya and the region in managing post-harvest loss by preventing food waste.
Aflasafe is a bio-control product that suppresses aflatoxin producing fungi in the soil. A single application of Aflasafe is effective for several years and in several crops. Aflasafe protection carries over from field to store, so grain is protected postharvest.

Aflasafe contains 4 atoxigenic strains that lack the capability to produce aflatoxin. When applied to the field (2-3 weeks before flowering at a rate 10-20kg/ha) the atoxigenic strains sporulate on the soil, and outcompete the toxigenic strains from colonizing the crop. Sorghum is the grain carrier of Aflasafe.

There is a big opportunity here for preventing postharvest grain loss with Aflasafe. In Africa, it is manufactured in Nigeria, and Kenya will be the 2nd country to manufacture the bio-control. There is great support from Kenya government as was expressed by Cabinet Secretary Kosgei. The plan is to have the construction of the manufacturing facility completed in 12 months and operational soon thereafter. The local farmers present at the event were very receptive and welcomed this new technology, as they have closely felt the devastating effects of aflatoxin contamination in maize.


Matteo Renzi supports the Milan Protocol


Parma, November 20, 2014 – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi today gave his support to the Milan Protocol promoted by the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) Foundation in the lead up to Expo 2015. The Protocol aims to raise the awareness of governments, companies and civil society about the urgent action needed to make the global food system sustainable: the reduction of food waste, the promotion of sustainable agriculture, and the war on hunger and obesity by promotion healthy lifestyles.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said: “The Italian Government believes in and bets on the Milan Protocol: its objectives are our objectives. I would say thanks to Barilla and to the BCFN Foundation because they give us the opportunity to tell how Expo is going to be a serious affair. I’m here to say that we’re in. We will continue together on this path.”

On the day that Pope Francis underlined the urgent need for new rules to contrast the big food and nutrition contradictions of the modern world, the BCFN Foundation handed over the Protocol to the Italian premier with the hope that participating countries to Expo 2015 in Milan will sign up to a global food deal.

Guido Barilla, President of the BCFN Foundation, said: “Our hope is that Italian and international institutions will adopt the Protocol in order to underline the urgency of placing concrete measures at the core of political agendas to safeguard our future. We have an opportunity to go down in history by taking clear commitments with the world.”

The Milan Protocol presents itself as a valid basis for discussion to plan our food and nutrition future. It’s a document open to suggestions of all parties involved, which can submit their proposals through the dedicated platform 500 international experts have given their contributions to the Milan Protocol over the past 12 months, while more than 70 between organizations and institutional bodies - on top of thousands of private individuals - have endorsed it.

So far, the Protocol consists of eight articles and it has already been signed by numerous international organizations - including the famous chef Jamie Oliver and his Jamie Oliver Foundation, Eataly, Slow Food, Italian farmers’ association Coldiretti, WWF and Save The Children – as well as by personalities including Oscar Farinetti from Eataly and Carlo Petrini.

“The Milan Protocol offers an extraordinary opportunity to focus attention, opportunities for change and, most importantly, the planning skills of the institutions, civil society and companies on a concern we all share. Slow Food has been contributing right from the outset to the process of drafting the Protocol. We think that the progresses made until now constitute an excellent basis for further improvements that can be made thanks to everyone’s contribution”- argued Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food.

Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation
The Milan Protocol is an initiative of the BCFN - Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition - Foundation, a think tank with a multidisciplinary approach to the world of food and nutrition which establishes links between these and other related issues, including economics, medicine, nutrition, sociology and the environment. New BCFN Foundation Board members are Slow Food President Carlo Petrini, S&D Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament Paolo De Castro, and Bocconi Vice Rector for Development Alberto Grando. The body which oversees the work of the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition is the Advisory Board, the members of which include: Barbara Buchner, Senior Director of the Climate Policy Initiative Europe, Ellen Gustafson, a sustainable nutrition expert, Gabriele Riccardi, an endocrinologist, and Camillo Ricordi, a scientist at the University of Miami, who were joined in 2013 by Riccardo Valentini, the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Director of the Climate Impacts Division of the Euro-Mediterranean Center for Climate Change, and Danielle Nierenberg, an expert in sustainable agriculture and co-founder of FoodTank: the Food Think Tank.

For more Info:
BCFN Foundation – Luca Di Leo | | + 39 0521 2621
Caterina Grossi l| +39 0521 2621
Burson - Marsteller – Laura Poggio | | +39 340 5505096
Raffaella Tosi || +39 349 7668003
Edoardo Cavalcabò | | +39 3392201228

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