Conclusions

African governments need to support food safety issues, such as mycotoxin contamination, because of their significance for public health and trade. To do so requires strengthening the capacity to effectively monitor mycotoxins, and to establish efficient food control systems through appropriate legislation. Establishment of mycotoxin facilities in Nigeria and Malawi is contributing to the increased international trade of agriculture commodities and augmenting local food safety standards. Studies in Nigeria and Malawi showed that government initiative is a key to the success of such initiatives. Simple aflatoxin detection methods, such as ELISA, are ideal for developing countries in Africa because of their ease of execution and relatively low operational costs.

Efforts to institutionalize mycotoxin testing in Africa need to be supported by international organizations such as FAO, WHO, IAEA, World Bank, USAID and EU through technical and financial assistance. Where such facilities are available, continued support is needed to upgrade laboratories and humans skills as new analytical methods are developed for food safety analyses. Developing competency in the risk assessment of mycotoxins will enable African countries to participate more effectively in international agricultural trade, strengthening Africa's position in the global food trade and indirectly contribute to the health of the local people.

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