The Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) is a collaboration which aims to protect crops, livestock, and people from the effects of aflatoxins. By combating these toxins, PACA will contribute to improving food security, health, and trade across the African continent.
The African Union Commission (AUC) provides leadership for PACA, and works with a steering committee representing farmers; consumers; research and technology organizations; healthcare and trade professionals; and the private sector. Together, the stakeholders aspire to achieve PACA’s vision: an Africa free from the harmful effects of aflatoxins.
If this vision is achieved, millions of Africans will no longer be exposed to high, unsafe levels of aflatoxins. And, with aflatoxin contamination reduced to safe levels, Africa’s food crops are more likely to meet international food safety standards, enabling African countries to massively increase their export potential.
In working towards its vision, PACA is following a ten-year strategy (2013–2022), available here.
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Aflatoxins are natural compounds produced by the mould Aspergillus flavus and related species. They are highly toxic to humans and animals, causing liver disease and cancer. Chronic exposure to aflatoxins is also associated with stunting and immune system suppression.
Aflatoxin-producing moulds affect grain and other food crops – maize and groundnuts in particular. The toxins could be carried over along the food chain. It causes health problems in livestock through contaminated feed, and in humans through unsafe levels of aflatoxins in dietary staples.
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News & Upcoming Events
The first Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) Partnership Platform Meeting took place on 07-09 October 2014, at the African Union Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
One of the major challenges in mitigating aflatoxin in Africa is the lack of adequate information and harmonized data collection on the subject.