Doreo Partners, Part of IITA Best Team 2013

Babban Gona farmer member and Doreo Partners executive director showing off first harvest of aflasafe maize.

Babban Gona farmer member and Doreo Partners executive director showing off first harvest of Aflasafe maize.

In its just concluded annual awards, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) named its Aflasafe Team — of which Doreo Partners is a member — as its best team in 2013. The Best Team Award is given to the IITA team judged to have made an outstanding impact in society.

In 2013, the Aflasafe Team made important strides in its mission to make African food aflatoxin-safe. Its Aflasafe plant produced 61 tons of Aflasafe for Nigeria, 6 for Senegal, 2 for Kenya, 12 for Zambia and 2 for Burkina Faso. For its part, Doreo Partners drove the team’s commercialization efforts, made aflasafe available to over 600 Babban Gona farmer members, and created awareness in agricultural social and policy spheres about the dangers of aflatoxins.

Produced in the field and in storage centres by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, Aflatoxin is a poisonous substance, which makes crops unsafe for human and animal consumption. It is also carcinogenic and has been linked to immune system disorders, stunted growth in children, and other health challenges. To mitigate these risks, IITA in collaboration with the University of Ibadan, University of Bonn, the Agriculture Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture developed aflasafe strains of the Aspergillus species — strains which could not produce aflatoxins and could not become toxigenic in the process of a genetic exchange.

Congratulations to all members of the team and to all who continue to work towards an Aflasafe Nigeria.