Abstract

The major mycotoxins studied at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) institutes are aflatoxins in maize, peanut, sorghum and cassava, Fusarium toxins in maize, wheat and sorghum, and ochratoxin in cocoa and cashew. Genetic enhancement (both through plant breeding and biotechnology), biological control, habitat management, risk assessment, institutional capacity building and public awareness are among the tools in the "CGIAR research-for-development kit" to fight mycotoxins worldwide. A holistic approach should be pursued to deal with mycotoxins that includes the following elements: i) an integrated crop management package that combines mycotoxin-resistant germplasm, biological control, habitat control and soil-amendments; ii) low-cost mycotoxin detection technology for rapid appraisal that also should facilitate trade; iii) a participatory process for my-cotoxin assessment in commercially important crops; and iv) a high-level panel composed of scientists, NGOs, farmers, traders, consumers, health officers and policy makers to monitor mycotoxin intervention strategies and to organize awareness campaigns.

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