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Malawi Farmers Association Working with Farmers to Control Aflatoxin

The National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM), in collaboration with the private sector and other stakeholders, has been taking the lead in promoting interventions for aflatoxin mitigation in Malawi. Understanding that aflatoxin mitigation starts at the farm level, NASFAM promotes best agricultural practices at pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest levels. NASFAM is also engaged in creating aflatoxin awareness and training to smallholder farmers as well as development of traceability systems, quality management, storage and processing. Although peanut production in Malawi has been growing over the last few years, post-harvest technologies such as shelling and storage are not readily available. Smallholder farmers are forced to shell the nuts by hand. In order to make the shelling by hand easier, famers soak the unshelled nuts in water which increases moisture level in the nuts resulting in possible aflatoxin contamination. In light of this, NASFAM has taken the initiative to provide mechanical shelling technologies to farmers. This initiave is still in progress and adoption levels are minimal. In addition, NASFAM’s new traceability and quality management system ensures that each bag containing groundnuts and accepted at a buying point undergoes quality checks and has a traceability tag thatlinks it back to the farmer. NASFAM is also providing services and training to smallholder farmers on drying systems, moisture detection as well as sampling and testing at different levels. NASFAM continues to work with farmers to mitigate the aflatoxin risk and its impact on the livelihoods of the Malawian population.