Breweries and other industrial cereals buyers in West Africa prefer to source internationally due to aflatoxin contamination in regionally produced grains. Aflatoxins—caused by certain molds that occur in soil, decaying vegetation, and grains—seriously hinder regional cereals trade, and lead to serious health risks, including stunted growth, cancer, and death.
To tackle this in Benin, the Trade Hub is partnering with the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) to control and manage aflatoxin in locally grown grains—a move supported by USAID/Benin. With financial contributions from the IFDC, the Trade Hub will provide technical assistance for training-of-trainers for farmer organizations from regions covered by IFDC on aflatoxin control and management during the second quarter of FY17. Additional support may come from SOBEBRA, the largest brewery in Benin, which has expressed interest in becoming involved by conducting aflatoxin analysis at the brewery’s laboratory. The Hub hopes that this partnership will encourage large, industrial producers to confidently source raw cereals locally for processing—and be a model for joining forces with the private sector to combat a public health threat.