New low-cost technology to detect aflatoxins launched in Malawi

Dr. Anitha Seetha, Scientist at ICRISAT-Malawi explaining the new technology.

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), one of A4NH's partner Centers, recently announced a new technology that detects aflatoxins on location, can save lives, and can open export markets for African and Asian countries. The rapid test kit device is also affordable at under US$ 2. This exciting new advancement will be the first portable cost-effective way for farmers and others to detect aflatoxins instantly.  

The test kit launched officially at ICRISAT-Malawi on July 26, 2016 by Dr. Allan Chilimba, Deputy Director, Department of Agricultural Research Services (DARS). The kit requires limited technical knowledge or training and can be used on location by farmers, agro-dealers, and food processors.

“The device will contribute to manage and reduce the entry of aflatoxins in the food value chains, improve diagnosis for local and export trade and support the food processing industry to maintain low exposure levels in food products in our local markets as well as for export markets,” said Dr Anitha Seetha, Scientist at ICRISAT-Malawi.

Dr David Bergvinson, Director General of ICRISAT added, “ICRISAT has been working with smallholder farmers in Africa to combat the aflatoxin problem. This kit will enable rapid and cost-effective deployment by the government and private sector to protect public health and also improve the export prospects for African countries.”

The extraction kits are expected to be readily available for use in the field in two months. The kit was developed by Dr. Anitha Seetha, with support from A4NH.

Read more about this news on the ICRISAT website.