FoodAfrica has started collaborating with the Kenyan Department of Meteorology and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The new co-operation supplements the research done on avoiding mycotoxins by using meteorological data to forecast the risk of mycotoxins in the dairy chain.
In Finland a grid-based weather data system developed by the Finnish Meteorological Institute has been applied for monitoring the risk of fumonisins in cereals for more than 10 years. In FoodAfrica experts from the Kenyan Department of Meteorology will develop and adopt the system in co-operation with their Finnish colleagues. The Kenyan experts will train in Finland and receive follow-up visits from Finnish experts. FoodAfrica WP5 focuses on avoiding mycotoxins in the dairy chain.
Data will be collected from five different meteorological areas in Kenya over the last decade. The data includes rainfall, daily mean temperature and relative humidity. These data will be compared with available data on aflatoxin contamination in the same areas for developing a forecasting model. It will be tested for feasibility over the next 1,5 years by the FoodAfrica Programme. For this purpose, Kenyan PhD students will collect maize, milk and feed samples in selected areas in Kenya for aflatoxin analysis.
The newly started collaboration is expected to improve food security in Kenya by providing much needed information to the local farmers on potential mycotoxin risk on their farms.