Improving the health and livelihood of people of East Africa by addressing aflatoxin and gender-related constraints in peanut production, processing and marketing

CRSP:   |  Region:   |  Topic: ,   |  Database:

Project Code:

Start Date:

End Date:

CRSP Phase:
Phase 3




Lead University:

Other Partners:
Makerere University (Uganda); Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) (Kenya)

Principal Investigator(s):
Maria Elisa Christie

Co-Principal Investigator(s):
Kumar Mallikarjunan (US); Archileo Kaaya (Uganda); Charity Mutegi (Kenya)


This project links science directly to pressing development challenges. It increases food security and nutritional value for families producing one of Africa’s key crops, peanut. Building on previous Peanut CRSP work and relationships in East Africa, it expands the regional focus in Uganda to include the war-torn North, developing on-the-ground research in Kenya, and further involves Tanzania and Rwanda in capacity-building efforts. The scope of research broadens with greater emphasis on health and nutrition aspects of aflatoxins, and on crop storage and food preparation in household space, while emphasizing value-added opportunities with small-scale peanut growers and processors. It brings agriculture and health scientists together for collaboration needed for effective resolution and impact. It empowers women to manage aflatoxins in peanuts in the household, increase their incomes through marketing of quality peanut products, and improve family nutrition and wellbeing.


1. Food Science/Risk assessment: Carry out aflatoxin risk assessment in the region in order to get exposure data and how hazardous aflatoxins are to local consumers." 2. HACCP and Certification: Evaluate aflatoxin contamination and physico-chemical composition of locally processed peanut products during storage and develop HACCP plan for small scale peanut processors and cottage industries. 3. IEC: Develop information Education and Communication (IEC) materials for aflatoxin awareness at grassroot and higher level as well as conduct training workshops to address the issue. 4. Build capacity to identify and address aflatoxin issues through training of students, researchers, processors, women's groups, farmers and government/extension personnel. 5. FTIR: Develop Non-destructive Rapid Deduction System to Test for AF in Peanuts and Peanut Products using Fourier Transformation Infrared spectroscopy with Attenuated Total Reflection (FTIR-ATR) or Photo Acoustic Spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS). Methods will be developed for both in-lab implementation and as well as in-field evaluation. 6. Ethnographic research: Qualitative, ethnographic research in selected households in urban and rural areas of Kenya and Uganda to document cooking practices involving peanuts, clay-eating practices, and identify opportunities for mitigating or reducing aflatoxins in diet 7. Identify clays in the region that can bind to AF and reduce its toxicity, building on prior Peanut CRSP research. Explore the feasibility of using locally available clays in Uganda as a product to supplement in animal feed and human diet for mitigating aflatoxin poison. 8. Gender and qualitative methodology course: Week-long course in gender and qualitative research methodology for students and faculty in Makerere, with students and faculty from Kenya. 9. Livelihoods: Working with women's organizations and cooperatives, develop livelihood strategies and models for reducing poverty and malnutrition in rural areas via value addition in peanut.


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