Strategies to Control Aflatoxin in Groundnut Value Chains

28 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2014

See all articles by Wojciech J. Florkowski

Wojciech J. Florkowski

University of Georgia

Shashidhara Kolavalli

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: August 8, 2014


Groundnuts, which are widely consumed in West Africa, are prone to contamination by aflatoxin during production and storage. Although aflatoxin plays a role in many of the important health risks in developing countries, individuals and governments ignore the risks because their health effects are not immediate. In the developed world strong regulations remove contaminated kernels and their products from the food systems. The objective of this paper is to examine production and marketing practices, particularly grading methods, in Ghana’s groundnut value chain to obtain a clear understanding of the sources and levels of aflatoxin contamination in the crop and how such contamination can be sharply reduced. The study finds that seemingly inferior kernels, which are likely to be contaminated, are indeed sorted out but that the rejects are not taken out of the food system; instead, they are offered to consumers in a crushed form as an ingredient in cooking and flavoring. Testing for aflatoxin confirmed high levels of contamination particularly in products that contained crushed groundnuts. The paper suggests a multipronged strategy suitable for a developing country in which stringent enforcement of regulation may be infeasible.

Keywords: Ghana, West Africa, Africa south of Sahara Africa, Aflatoxins, Mycotoxins, Groundnuts, Quality, Grading, Regulation, Biosafety, Food Safety, Value Chains

Suggested Citation

Florkowski, Wojciech J. and Kolavalli, Shashidhara, Strategies to Control Aflatoxin in Groundnut Value Chains (August 8, 2014). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1369, Available at SSRN:

Wojciech J. Florkowski (Contact Author)

University of Georgia ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-7509
United States
770-228-7231 (Phone)

Shashidhara Kolavalli

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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