Role of collective action and handling practices on aflatoxin contamination of groundnuts: evidence from Kenya

Citation:
Mutegi CK;, Hendriks SL;, Jones RB;, Okello JJ;, Ngugi HK. "Role of collective action and handling practices on aflatoxin contamination of groundnuts: evidence from Kenya."; 2007.

Abstract:

Groundnut is a major dietary component and a relatively cheap source of proteins for many people in western Kenya. In order to commercialize groundnut production, the government of Kenya, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Catholic Relief Services mobilized growers into producer marketing groups (PMGs). The PMGs are trained on practices that minimize groundnut contamination with aflatoxin. This paper examines the effectiveness of PMGs as avenues for promoting practices that reduce the risk of groundnut contamination with aflatoxin based on a household survey conducted in Homabay district, western Kenya. Aflatoxin content of groundnuts samples obtained during the survey was determined by indirect competitive ELISA. The results indicated a significant (P<0.01) level of awareness about aflatoxins among farmers belonging to PMGs (90.6%) than those who did not (58.1%). A significantly higher percentage of PMG farmers practiced sorting and grading. In addition, a significantly (P<0.01) higher percentage of PMG respondents (89.5%) employed cultural methods of pest control compared with the non PMG farmers (52.2%). However, levels of aflatoxins in groundnut samples taken from both categories of farmers did not differ, suggesting a lag between the time farmers receive a message and its implementation. These results indicate that PMGs have contributed substantially to increased awareness about aflatoxins and underscore the need for up-scaling training of farmers on specific measures that reduce the risk of exposure.

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