This Feed the Future Innovation Lab is part of the U.S. government's Feed the Future initiative to reduce global hunger and improve food security. The initiative uses research, education and outreach to advance solutions to hunger, poverty, and under-nutrition in low-income countries.
The project aims to provide global leadership to reduce post-harvest loss (PHL) and food waste of durable staple crops (grains, oilseeds, legumes, root crops, seeds) and their processed value-added products with an initial focus on four Feed the Future (FtF) countries (Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Guatemala). Interventions under this project will integrate smallholder farmers, producer cooperatives, and agribusiness enterprises with market-based value chains.
A key challenge in a number of Feed the Future countries is high moisture content of grains (especially maize) at harvest and presence of high mycotoxin levels (especially aflatoxin) at harvest and postharvest due to improper drying and storage practices.
The initial pilot projects in Guatemala and Ghana will involve assessing the level of the problem faced by small holder farmers and the first market collection points, and ways to address this problem. Current practices allow for wet maize that often contains high levels of aflatoxin to enter the market and be consumed by farmers and villagers causing nutrition and health problems for children and adults.
Romer Labs’ AgraStrip Aflatoxin and Fumonisin test strips and AgraVision reader will be used in these remote growing areas to assess the extent of the mycotoxin contamination. Using the data obtained in the study, the goal is to enhance the drying, conditioning, handling, storage, pest management and transportation of these crops thus increasing the quantity and quality of the grain available for human consumption and decreasing food waste.
About Romer Labs:
Romer Labs, founded in Washington, MO, in 1982, is a leading provider in diagnostic solutions for food and feed safety. It develops, manufacturers and markets rapid test kits for food allergens, food pathogens, mycotoxins, veterinary drug residues and other food contaminants. The company also operates four accredited full-service laboratories on three continents. Romer Labs has facilities in Austria, Brazil, China, Malaysia, Singapore, the UK and the USA. For more than 30 years, Romer Labs has been a trusted partner for the food and feed industry worldwide. www.romerlabs.com
About Feed the Future Innovation Lab:
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for the Reduction of Post-Harvest Loss is a strategic and applied research and education program aimed at providing global leadership in food security by reducing post-harvest loss and food waste of durable staple crops (grains, oilseeds, legumes, root crops, seeds) and their processed value-added products. This program will require confronting constraints on integrating smallholder farmers, producer cooperatives, and agribusiness enterprises with market-based value chains from seed to end-user. Post-Harvest Loss (PHL) estimates are distressingly high considering the current and estimated future need for food. These losses represent food already in the production system that could have been used to reduce food insecurity and hunger and to increase food quality/safety, nutrition, and market opportunities for the small landholder. PHL reduces real income for all consumers, which especially affects the poor, because such a high percentage of their disposable income is devoted to staple foods. PHL reduction also has significant gender implications since staple food production in most developing countries is the responsibility of women. For more information please visit. www.reducePHL.org
- Oct 27 2014 07:16 PM
- by Simon