The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Governments of the USA, UK, Canada and Australia have funded through the AgResults initiative, the building of an Aflasafe™ Pilot laboratory on the International Institute of Topical Agriculture (IITA)’s campus in Ibadan, Nigeria.
The AgResults initiative incentivizes the use of innovations that promote food security, income, health, and nutrition. The AgResults Nigeria AflasafeTM Pilot is encouraging private-sector actors to promote the use of AflasafeTM, a biological control agent proven to reduce Aflatoxin contamination in maize by 80-99%.
The AgResults Nigeria AflasafeTM Pilot lab is a 530 square meter structure aimed to test AflasafeTM content in maize in order to monitor, evaluate and verify the farmers’ use of AflasafeTM through microbiology and DNA testing of grain samples. The lab is expected to reduce costs and improve efficacy of the verification process for the Nigeria pilot project. Participating Implementers of the Pilot whose farmers’ prove to have used AflasafeTM in maize, will be eligible to receive a pilot award.
The new facility became necessary as the existing Pathology/Mycotoxin labcould not cope with the number of samples, the time and labor demands that AflasafeTM testing requires. Construction of the lab became particularly important as the Nigeria AflasafeTM Pilot project progresses into its second year of implementation, with 24 participating Implementers and around 10,000 participating farmers.
On Tuesday, June the 16th, IITA’s Director General Dr. Nteranya Sanginga inspected progress on the lab construction. Dr. Sanginga also held a celebratory ceremony where he laid the first construction brick around the lab. During the ceremony, Dr. Sanginga expressed the hope that the lab would be up and running after IITA Board of Trustees visit in November.