The (100) Million Dollar Question


If you had $100 million to solve a pressing world problem, what would you do? That’s the question the asked during its recent open call for proposals. ASI’s answer is simple: rid the world of aflatoxin.

 

 

Aflatoxin is an odorless, invisible poison that is produced by certain molds in soil and agricultural products. One of the most carcinogenic substances known to man, aflatoxin also leads to malnutrition. It suppresses the immune system, making people, especially children, more susceptible to disease.

 

Aflatoxin affects animals, contaminating milk, meat/fish, and eggs. One of the main reasons why aflatoxin cannot be easily defeated is that once food is infected with aflatoxin, it cannot be treated or removed--it must be destroyed.

 

ASI’s solution, Aflatoxin-Free Food (AFF), combines existing technologies to produce a replicable, holistic response with the goal of eradicating aflatoxin contamination in Kenya, Uganda and Malawi. If successful, AFF will increase food safety and security, improve health outcomes, reduce malnutrition, and boost economic growth.

 

With the help of partner organizations, AFF will combine individual approaches to ensure a comprehensive response to aflatoxin:

 

  • Raising consumer awareness of the dangers of aflatoxin, how to use effective technologies, and what policies need to be put in place for enduring food security and safety will be done in collaboration with the , local government, and the private sector.
     
  • Rapid, on-demand testing, with test kits provided by the will allow farmers/buyers to identify the need for preventative solutions, negotiate better prices for clean crops, and discourage household consumption of contaminated grains.

  • Aflasafe™ is a cutting edge technology that has been shown to reduce aflatoxin by up to 95% at harvest. We will work with the to scale up aflasafe™ commercialization and train users on proper application to assure its appropriate and effective usage.

  • Predictive modeling will be done by and the to identify aflatoxin “hotspots” in project areas that can be targeted for treatment.

  • Proven methods of drying and storing of grains from ASI and will be taught to farmers and commercialized by the private sector to prevent post-harvest aflatoxin contamination of their crops.

  • Control trials will be conducted by to assess the health and economic impacts of AFF’s set of interventions.

 

“There is no ‘easy’ solution to eradicating aflatoxin,” says Ana Bilik, ASI president. “We can’t replace an entire region’s food supply, nor can we incinerate its staple food crop. We can, however, work to mobilize a team of like-minded organizations to ensure an aflatoxin-free food supply for children. What will it take to eradicate aflatoxin? -- $100 million!”


Learn more about AFF’s Consortium of Partners







 

 

 

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