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Malawi’s toxic harvest

SciDev.Net reports that in Malawi, floods followed by drought have led to a 30 per cent reduction in Malawi’s maize harvest and left the country facing its most severe food crisis for over ten years. Between now and March, more than two million Malawians will struggle to find enough food, the UN’s World Food Programme forecasts. On top of this, much of the harvest will be contaminated with aflatoxin that can cause cancer and liver damage, and stunt children’s growth.

COMESA Request for EOIs to Develop Aflatoxin Regional Action Plan

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) requests Expressions of Interest (EOI) for consultancy service to develop the COMESA Aflatoxin Regional Action Plan. COMESA has received a grant from the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) towards the cost of Regional Workshop on the Aflatoxin Challenge in Eastern and Southern Africa (conducted in March 2014 in Lilongwe, Malawi) and developing a Comprehensive Regional Aflatoxin Mitigation Plan. COMESA intends to apply a portion of the proceeds of this grant for Consultancy Services to develop a Regional Aflatoxin Control Action Plan. EOI’s are due on or before 13 November 2015. Please find the Request for EOI here.

AUC and Mars, Incorporated sign agreement to tackle aflatoxins

Addis Ababa, 7 December 2015 - The African Union Commission and Mars, Incorporated, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to share food safety resources and expertise to control aflatoxins in food crops – a significant threat to food safety in Africa and a major deterrent to use of key African raw materials in global supply chains.

The press release is available at: http://aflatoxinpartnership.org/uploads/PR%20390%20-%20AUC%20MARS%20MOU.pdf

Position Announcement: Managing Director for the Aflasafe Technology Transfer Program

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the internationally recruited position of Managing Director for the Aflasafe Technology Transfer Program. The position announcement and application details are available here. Applications are due on 18 March 2016.

SciDev features IARC Report and PACA Workshop

The publication "Mycotoxin Control in Low- and Middle Income Countries" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (published 17 February 2016) recommends various methods to reduce the threat of aflatoxins, including diet diversification and better ways of storing and processing grains.

Report results were shared during the Workshop on “Engaging the Health and Nutrition Sectors in Aflatoxin Control in Africa”. PACA in collaboration with Amref Health Africa and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) organized this workshop on 23-24 March 2016 at the AUC Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

SciDev reported on the publication and workshop in the following article on Varied diet repels poisoned fungus.