Levels of aflatoxin contamination in farmer samples and MACs

The number of farmers' peanut samples in each range of aflatoxin levels across the Chapters indicated that the Mikundi and Chiosya Chapters contributed a higher proportion of good quality peanut with aflatoxin levels between 0 and 4 ng/g (Fig. 1). Similarly, based on a maximum permissible level of 2 ng/g aflatoxin, the Mikundi chapter provided excellent quality nuts in terms of the total cumulative frequency of peanut samples that registered low aflatoxin contamination. The chapters of Mlonyeni and Msitu were not included in the determination of the best performing chapter as too few samples were collected from these Chapters. Of the eight MACs in the Chiosya Chapter, MACs 1, 4, 6 and 8 contributed the greater portion of good quality peanuts with low levels of aflatoxin contamination (Fig. 2).

By using ELISA for aflatoxin analyses, NASFAM could differentiate its products for different markets, and enable smallholder farmers to participate in markets that they would not otherwise have accessed. The collaboration between producers, traders and scientists in developing procedures for the management of aflatoxin requires resources and continuing

■ Chiosya a Mikundi DMsitu nMlonyeni QMkarida DKalulu

Figure 1. Levels of aflatoxin contamination (ng/g) in peanuts produced by NASFAM farmers from different chapters in Mchinji during the 2003-04 season.

■ MAC1 a MAG 2 □ M AC 3 PMAC4 □ MACS □ MAC 6 0 MAC 7 H MACS

Figure 2. Levels of aflatoxin contamination (ng/g) in peanuts produced by NASFAM farmers from Chiosya Chapter in Mchinji during the 2003/2004 season.

■ MAC1 a MAG 2 □ M AC 3 PMAC4 □ MACS □ MAC 6 0 MAC 7 H MACS

Figure 2. Levels of aflatoxin contamination (ng/g) in peanuts produced by NASFAM farmers from Chiosya Chapter in Mchinji during the 2003/2004 season.

support if sustained improvement in quality is the goal. As the results showed, even within Chapters there is variation in aflatoxin contamination levels. Thus, the use of this technique can provide information for better targeting of training of farmers and/or the handling of produce from specific areas.

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