Aflasafe SN01 was launched in Senegal and The Gambia in March 2017. Matters Aflasafe did not end there. In fact, this was just the beginning. Nearly six months to the day, a formal Aflasafe Technology Transfer and Licensing Agreement was signed between IITA and BAMTAARE.
What has happened since in terms of commercialisation? The steady forward march continues. A building is being renovated to house BAMTAARE’s Aflasafe factory at the company site in Kaolack, Senegal, which will run on a BOO basis – built, owned and operated by BAMTAARE, with technical and business-development support from ATTC. Plans are proceeding apace, with equipment being procured in and outside Senegal. Despite unexpected snags and delays, all equipment should be in place within the next two months, and the factory fully functional in 2018. But BAMTAARE is not taking any chances: to ensure that Aflasafe will be available in The Gambia and Senegal for the upcoming July planting season, BAMTAARE will import additional 100 metric tonnes from the plant in Ibadan. BAMTAARE has designed an Aflasafe marketing plan, and discussions are ongoing with a local communication firm to support its implementation.
In promoting Aflasafe to farmers, exporters and the edible-oil industry, confirmation of the impressive aflatoxin reductions on treated farms will demonstrate the product’s effectiveness, thus building confidence in Aflasafe. The implementation of an aflatoxin-testing system in the procurement of groundnuts will reward farmers for the quality of their aflatoxin-safe products. ATTC is providing technical support to major buyers of Aflasafe to conduct sampling and testing for aflatoxins on produce from treated fields.
But some are already well ahead of the curve. Agribusiness entrepreneurs like Mr Abib Thiam are amongst the early adopters of Aflasafe, having used the product for the last three consecutive years to control aflatoxin in groundnuts with an eye on the lucrative export market. Mr Thiam is the President of Le Collectif des producteurs et exportateurs de graines d’arachide (COPEGA – Consortium of groundnut producers and exporters) in Senegal. He has conducted his own independent analysis on harvest from his farm and he is convinced that Aflasafe is the solution to solve the aflatoxin scourge that hamstrings the groundnut industry. Speak Wolof perchance? Then hear it in Mr Thiam’s own words from around minute 11:47 on this video when he was on air at Senegal’s 2STV earlier this year.