AFLATOXIN Country Assessment Report–Nigeria



The Country Assessment of Aflatoxin prevalence and Prevention in Nigeria was  released in 2013. The document, was submitted by Abt Associates, and prepared for the Meridian Institute in support of the partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA). Funding was from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (DFID) under contract number Contract #9678.2

The assessment was centred around the 3 pillars of PACA

Agriculture and Food safety



The key crops noted were –maize, ground nut, cotton seed, sorghum millet rice walnut, pistachio nuts, sesame, spices and brazil nuts. However only 2 –maize and groundnut received the focus of the research as they were confirmed to have high aflatoxin prevalence in them and the data revealed contamination in both crops at levels higher than the EU(4ppb) and the US(20ppb)


For both and groundnut 7 regions were covered . These are humid forest, derived savanna, Northern guinea savanna , southern guinea savanna, mid altitude and Sudan savanna. These are apart from the estimates for aflatoxins for these crops and derivatives across the country as one geographical expression. The commodities were observed as raw, boiled and roasted as well as cake and gruel , where appropriate. Prevalence was defined as samples with >20 ppb aflatoxin

In 2010/2011, for example, of the available 9,706 MT of maize, 78% was used for human consumption, 17% was used for feed and residual uses, and a small percentage was set aside for re-planting(USDA FAS, 2012). Groundnuts are also primarily destined for human consumption. A share of groundnuts is used for making oil but the residual groundnut cakes, kulikuli, are part of the Nigerian diet. Only a negligible fraction of total groundnut production is exported. Average agricultural households report selling 41% of their maize produce, retaining 10% for seed, 1% for feed, and the residual 46% is used for own consumption or storage (based on analysis of 2009/2010 LSMS-ISA data).

Agric and Food security

Use of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) –actions that reduce moisture content and reduce susceptibility to aflatoxin-causing fungus and biological control (AflasafeTM),. These can include precision drying of grains and nuts, and hermetic storage can significantly reduce the risk of aflatoxin exposure. The use of GAP is low in Nigeria.

Awareness among farmers and exporters Enhanced resources for extension and general systemic challenges and rural poverty hamper extension efforts as low stipends, will contribute to awareness and help in solving the problem

Trade—Risk o f contamination in markets Regulatory agencies like SON and Nafdac as NAQS concerned with Standards can b e encouraged to improve on enforcement . Where enforcement occurs , its only on commodities destined for export. Local consumers are also human beings deserving of wholesome consumption and enhanced health . capacity for mycotoxin testing and regular training of staff of NAQS and SON can be enhanced. The research team who visited Ondo, Kogi and Niger states found no evidence of any testing for aflatoxins in the domestic maize and groundnuts markets in Nigeria although there are better control of aflatoxins in the feed industries. More younger staff must be recruited specifically at SON being the custodian of the nations standards

Health==In Nigeria the lack of aflatoxin control in agriculture sector and the lack of enforcement of aflatoxin standards in the domestic market mean that aflatoxin-contaminated maize and groundnuts (and other products) can easily enter the consumption stream leading to the risk of adverse health impacts. The fact that a majority of the maize and groundnuts produced are consumed domestically further enhances the risk, particularly because consumers are not aware of the problem. Some dangerous lifestyle also contribute to the risk.For example some farmers (outside of Lagos) were reported believe that moldy maize may produce better ogi (maize-based porridge). Other behavioral risk factors include consumption of kulikuli produced in environments that may not boast of hygiene. However, the data on kulikuli samples purchased monthly (April to November) from four Ibadan markets sites found that in all but two of the samples, aflatoxin B concentrations were between 20 ppb and 455 ppb

Expand universal coverage of the HBV vaccine. Since there is co-morbidity between high aflatoxin levels in the body and hepatitis B, the HBV vaccine can serve as one of the most important public health interventions available for reducing the risk of cancer related to aflatoxin exposure. Reducing prevalence of HBV to zero in Nigeria could reduce liver cancer levels threefold.

Upgrade the food safety control and practices. Recently the Federal Govt of Nigeria set up 2 Committees on Food Safety . This commendable step should harness resources from all the many facets of food safety. Already meetings of this group are being held . The co

While groundnut contributed 15.6% of all household income in the North East, the South received 14.4% of all domestic incomes from maize both being the highest in all the geopolitical zones

A review of the EU alerts and border rejections suggests that between 2007 and 2012, 2 maize consignments and 13 consignments of groundnut and groundnut-related products were detained because of aflatoxin levels above EU regulations

Between 1961 and 2009 maize export increased at irregular intervals reaching its peak in 1995, 2007 and 2009, however export fraction of this rose in 2001 and has been declining since then

The Health Impact of Aflatoxin Contamination in Nigeria: HCC Cases, DALY and Monetized Health Impact revealed that the North Central and North East were flash points.

IITA’s investigation of farmers’ willingness and ability to pay for the product (estimated at approximately NGN 1,600/hectare treated) is also informing the Aflasafe commercialization plan being developed by Doreo Partners

Dele Fapohunda




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