American Technology increases food safety for Kenyans

Patrick Wilson, USAID Kenya and East Africa Deputy Mission Director
The U.S. Government has joined the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization and the Government of Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture to commission the Katumani Aflasafe Manufacturing Facility.

The facility is the first of its kind in East Africa. It will manufacture Aflasafe, a technology developed in the United States, to combat aflatoxins. By transferring this technology, the U.S. Government and the international philanthropic community are supplying Kenya with a sustainable solution to a deadly problem.

High levels of exposure can lead to human and animal deaths, cancer, immune system suppression, and stunting in children. Aflatoxin contamination also decreases poultry and livestock productivity, increases food processing costs, and limits a country’s export potential. Aflasafe, when coupled with good practices in post-harvest handling and crop storage, saves lives, increases farmer income, and expands cross-border trade potential. Aflatoxins can be found on agricultural crops such as maize and groundnuts.

“Aflatoxin is destructive and poses a serious threat to the Government of Kenya’s Big Four agenda. The U.S. Government and Kenya’s shared vision is of a Kenya that enjoys higher living standards, greater economic growth, and closer ties to the United States in the pursuit of shared prosperity. That is why we are taking health risks like Aflatoxin exposure seriously.”– Patrick Wilson, USAID Kenya and East Africa Deputy Mission Director.

The development of this facility is an example of the public sector and donor communities playing their unique roles to create opportunities for the private sector. It is expected that after USAID and the other donor’s contributions, the Kenyan Government and the private sector will work together to utilize the factory for the increased safety and health of Kenyans.

Additional partners include the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, the United States Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.