Use Case 1:
Sustainable Aflatoxin Management
through a Food Convergence Innovation approach

  • Countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya
  • Objective: Aflatoxin control through (1) breeding for aflatoxin resistance in staple crops of maize and groundnut with vitamin E benefits in Kenya and (2) strengthening of collaborative networks sustainably through a food convergence innovation in Nigeria and Ghana. The objective is to introduce mycotoxin management.
  • Proposed Solution: Co-create a network among stakeholders to improve the flow and traceability of food crops that are safe from hazardous levels of aflatoxins. Strengthen the capacity of value chain actors in aflatoxin management for improved public health and market access. The cost-effectiveness of the existing strategies/practices for aflatoxin control (including managing contaminated grains) will be assessed, ranked, and packaged into training modules.
  • Involved actors: Actors included in the Food Convergence Innovation – Nigeria Platform, Ghana Grains Council, Food and Drugs Authority (Ghana), and National Steering Committee for Aflatoxin Control and the Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC) for bioassays (Nigeria).
  • Value chain: Groundnut and maize varieties

Use Case 2:
Reduction in the use and
misuse of pesticides

  • Countries: Benin, Ghana, Nigeria
  • Objective: Promote solutions that minimize the misuse of pesticides during production and in the post-harvest management of legumes and vegetables. Capacity development on the use of hermetic storage including the use of PICS bags and other strategies to reduce the risk of dietary exposure to pesticide residues, persistence of pesticide residues in the environment, antibiotic resistance to livestock from excessive exposure to pesticides.
  • Proposed Solution: Improvements in postharvest processes for vegetables and grains, development of strategic pathways for pesticide management and resistance management. Capacity building on the use of improved postharvest management practices, for grains and vegetables. Study of mechanism of resistance towards Improvement in resistant management. Promotion of hermetic storage that is suitable for retailers, improved understanding of antibiotic resistance in selected scenarios.
  • Involved actors: The One Health Unit of the IITA has started research (with partners including ILRI, the World Vegetable Centre (AVDRC) in detection, control of pesticide residues and determining the effect of these on antimicrobial resistance. The use case involves consumers and farmers as main end users of the safety strategies.
  • Value chain: Legumes and Vegetables

Use Case 3:
Safe and healthy vegetable and fish production through online platform and mobile communication

  • Countries: Nigeria, Cameroon 
  • Objective: Ensure the safety of the water recirculated within Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RASs) growing both cultured fish and vegetables, and products harvested from these facilities for use as food.
  • Proposed Solution: Certification of the hydroponics facility and the derived vegetables as well as seafood for compliance with hygiene standards. Comprehensive information about the production process being made available to end customers of the product. Microbiome-based solutions to maintain fish health so as to render antibiotics and other unwanted chemical treatments redundant.
  • Involved actors: Actors involved include ADC, UniBw M, University of Ibadan, technology providers for the aquaculture/hydroponics facilities, lab testing facilities for measuring the pathogenic and chemical load of the water and products within the facility, a women’s cooperative involved in raising the produce, and a community of fish farmers.
  • Value chain: Aquacultures (fish and vegetables)

Use Case 4:
Microbiological quality of tomatoes
and leafy greens from farm to fork

  • Countries: South Africa
  • Objective: Eliminate the  contamination of tomatoes and leafy greens (produced and sold by smallholder farmers) with bacterial pathogens such as Escherichia coli  and Salmonella spp. due to unhygienic conditions during both the pre- and post-harvest stages of production.
  • Proposed Solution: Long-term surveillance for pathogens within the water-plant nexus along the supply chain. Use of control points on the farm and at the point of retail, and analyses performed by laboratories. Supplementary tools would include the use of an AI-enhanced knowledge platform being developed with the project and accessible through mobile devices, so that, for example, adapted risk mitigation strategies can be applied by the smallholder. Also, microbiome-based solutions for the detection of the pathogens will be explored.
  • Involved actors: UP and the regional authorities overseeing agriculture will be involved with the training of farmers and collection of samples, respectively.
  • Value chain: Tomatoes and Leafy greens
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Learn more about the project

Addressing Food Safety Challenges in the African Informal sector through innovative strategies and use cases

Project Coordinator

Dr. Titilayo Falade
Headquarters & West Africa Hub PMB 5320, Oyo Road, Ibadan 200001, Oyo State, Nigeria

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or Research Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.