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Zero Aflatoxin

To provide intensive follow up to make sure local food producers adopt and use proper procedures and measures minimize aflatoxin in maize.

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Lead Applicant Organization Name


Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

In recognising the importance of aflatoxin control and prevention, We identify collaboration with maize smallholder farmers group, research centres and institutions as the way to identifying their roles and responsibilities. Specifically, it encounrages several actions like:Developing of policies, guidelines, operational research and strategies for the control of aflatoxin in food staples like maize,Providing technical and scientific assistance to us for their surveillance and control programmes, when requested, and Supervising .Contributing to field and laboratory investigations of aflatoxin in food staples.Disseminating of relevant information to experts in food system, and other scientific disciplines, as well as to consumer groups and the public.Strengthening of local surveillance of aflatoxin and antimicrobial resistance in aflatoxin pathogens by enhancing the epidemiological capabilities of national laboratories.Promoting research on aflatoxin in food staples

Website of Legally Registered Entity


How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Hai District

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Hai district covers 210,533 square kilometers

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

Several outbreaks of aflatoxins poisoning have been reported recently in Hai district Tanzania. Aflatoxins develop in maize in the field and during storage thus making the grains unsafe and unwholesome for consumption.These outbreaks have caused a lot of concern because they have worsened the food security status as maize is a major staple food in several households in the district. Considering that maize is also a staple food for the majority of  Hai people.Maize is one of the most important food crops grown in  Hai (Ismail et al., 2015; Kimanya et al., 2010). Maize is cultivated and used as a staple food by the majority of people in  Hai and used as an ingredient for preparation complementary foods. Hai maize consumption is estimated to be over 1 million metric tons per year, whereas the daily per capital consumption of maize for people in rural areas is estimated to be 450 g (Smith and Subandoro, 2012). More than half of cultivated land in Hai is allocated to cereal crops but, maize is the major and most preferred staple crop among all staple and cash crops being produced (Suleiman and Rosentrater, 2015). Maize is a suitable substrate for mould contamination and production of mycotoxins harmful to both humans and animals (Kpodo et al., 2000). Mycotoxigenic moulds can invade maize at different production stages especially during pre-harvest and during post-harvest handling (Chulze, 2010). A recent study detected multiple mycotoxins contamination in stored maize in rural Kongwa (Kamala et al., 2015). Kimanya et al. (2008) reported the incidence and extent of mycotoxin contamination of maize grown in four different agro-climatic regions of Hai whereby 52% of the samples were contaminated with fumonisin B1 at levels up to 6125 μg/kg (median, 206 μg/kg) and aflatoxins B1 was 12% of the samples at levels ranging from 5 to 90 μg/kg (median, 38μg/kg). Nyangi et al. (2016) reported that maize products consumed by humans and animal

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Hai district is in east part of Kilimanjaro Region. The district has 14 health facilities including Machame District Referral hospital. Hai district has a population of 210,533 and the proportion of people aged 70 years and above is about 2% (Tanzania Census, 2012). However, the Hai demographic surveillance site (DSS) where the research was based had a population of 160,000 at the time of the 2009 census, on which the prevalence study was based, of whom 5% were aged 70 and over. The population of Hai is mostly involved in both food and cash crop (coffee) production and animal keeping. Literacy level in the district is over 90%. Most families have access to a smallholding, and daily activities consist of agricultural work including cultivating and animal husbandry alongside running the household and taking care of family members.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)


What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Aflatoxin prevalence in Hai District tanzania

Contamination is common in foods being sold and eaten throughout Hai. Many of the worst-hit foods are the staples that we eat every day. Even small children are exposed to aflatoxin from a very young age, across Hai. In Hai district, for every ten times you go to the market for maize, four of those times you are likely to buy something that is bad for you. Scientists bought hundreds of maize samples from markets across the country, and found that 41% contained aflatoxin levels above the limit allowed in food. Less than a quarter of the maize had no aflatoxin at all, and 12% had more than ten times the safe limit.

At the same time, a third of all maize being kept by farmers in their stores was found over the safe limit for aflatoxin content. One of the worst things about aflatoxin is that the fungus keeps growing inside food after it is harvested, often invisibly. That means that the amount of toxin tends to go up and up throughout every step of storage and transport until the food reaches your plate.

 In Hai, out of hundreds of packets of milk collected from local households and shops, every single one contained aflatoxin, and 63% – almost two thirds – had levels of toxin over the safe limits recommended by the European Union. Fertile ground for toxic tragedy So why does aflatoxin hit Africa so hard? A major factor is climate: unhappily, many parts of sub-Saharan Africa have ideal conditions to encourage the fungus that produces aflatoxin. The first danger period is while food is still growing. Just like people, if plants are stressed and unhealthy, they struggle to fight infection. Hot, dry weather helps the aflatoxin fungus to get a foothold, and with droughts becoming ever more frequent and severe this threat is only likely to increase. Damp and humid conditions are menaces too. During the second danger period, once a food has finished growing and is already infected, what really helps the fungus to grow is a combination of heat and humidity. This is a big problem for food being kept in storage. Certain areas of Hai district also have the ill fortune to host high proportions of extremely potent toxin-producing strains of the fungus that makes aflatoxin, rather than harmless non-toxic strains. All this means that the most dangerous aflatoxin hotspots in the world are found on  soil.

Levels of aflatoxin on our continent are high, and it is also more easily able to reach our plates since Hai district lack the strict testing and controls found in places like Europe and North America, and many of our food systems and markets are informal. Governments and organisations are working hard to improve this situation, but systems to deal with aflatoxin are still in their infancy.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Zero aflatoxin is a vision which working with existing maize small holder farmers groups and existing agricultural and marketing cooperatives societies (AMCOS) in existing local government area of  Hai district Dodoma Tanzania to provide intensive follow up which  make sure local maize farmers adopt and use proper procedures and measures in prevent aflatoxin  during pre and post harvest period of maize production. Zero aflatoxin is a vision which use three tools such as system thinking aproach,humanan centered design and future casting approch to prevents aflatoxin in maize. 

Zero aflatoxin is a vision which will using system thinking approach: Zero aflatoxin use systems thinking approach to provide intensive follow up which make sure local food producers adopt and use proper procedures and measures in prevent aflatoxin  during pre and post harvest period of maize production. We will working with the public and private sector to address all barriers of preventing aflatoxin in local food staple commonly maize. Zero aflatoxin encouraged to engage multiple stakeholders which are farmers, businesses, researchers, policymakers, food service workers, and collaborate with them to integrate their views and perspectives into preventing aflatoxin in local food staple commonly maize. Our zero aflatoxin vision represents more different stakeholders with deep knowledge of and familiarity with aflatoxin prevention like research institute together with a farmer business organization and our city’s food policy advisory group.

 Zero aflatoxin is a vision which will using Human centered Design: We will provide intensive follow up which make sure local food producers adopt and use proper procedures and measures in prevent aflatoxin  during pre and post harvest period of maize production.Also we will provide proper advice based in aflatoxin evaluation of each maize food,if necessary.Since inception of this vision we will incorporate and engage communities to  demonstrate their existing knowledge of preventing aflatoxin.

Zero aflatoxin is a vision which will basing in future casting: This vision describes a credible pathway for provide intensive follow up which make sure local food producers adopt and use proper procedures and measures in prevent aflatoxin  during pre and post harvest period of maize production which will led realization of prevention of aflatoxin in  maize in the future. Zero aflatoxin is a Bold, feasible Vision which include an articulation of the concrete and actionable solutions that will be needed to make the zero aflatoxin vision a reality by 2050 in a our local communities.

Zero aflatoxin is a vision which will  link with other food system:Zero aflatoxin link with other food system such as economics, diet, technology, Policy, Culture, environment and influence one another within our food system. Zero aflatoxin it changes the structure, norms, and low standards of today food system to maize food producers. 

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Zero aflatoxin is a vision which is working on a systems thinking,Human centered design and future casting approach for mitigating aflatoxin-related effects on maize farmers. 

Misinformation about aflatoxin, particularly in rural areas, is a major factor in the spread of its occurance. In our experience this can be countered effectively with a combination of mass media and mobile-enabled outreach, and particularly recorded audio messages. Voice messages reach all phones and cut across languages and literacy abilities, providing engagement with marginalized farmers groups, especially women and people in rural areas. We will support 1. Authority-sponsored messages broadcasted on radio 2. Mass-marketing of a toll-free phone number for farmers to call-in to subscribe to a regular interactive information service 3. This service, which doubles as a hotline, delivers up-to-date information about symptoms and prevention measures of aflatoxin .Authority-sponsored messages about the disease could be broadcasted on the radio, newspaper and television, in all major local languages.

2. In those messages, we would advertise a local phone number people can “flash” to get more information on aflatoxin. People who call this number are automatically registered to our information subscription services, which is again available in all languages.

3. This information subscription service delivers up-to-date and validated information about the disease symptoms, prevention measures and spread, in people’s language of choice.
- A coordination tool between agriculture extension Workers.
- A discreet follow-up mechanism with people that have been exposed to aflatoxin victims. An education and reminder program could be delivered through mobile throughout the 21 day  period.
- A contact tracing tool.
- A Hotline to report symptoms and connect people to a call center staffed with professional agriculture workers to help confirm the symptoms and advise on care.



Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?



In Inspiration phase, as is so often the case, we will immersing in understanding the context of aflatoxin in kongowa district. We will spend weeks  to understand the aflatoxin in food staples common maize and also will want to know deeply maize farmers  who live there. Our design team knew that  80 percent of maize farmers face aflatoxin during  pre and post maize food production in Kongwa district. But before we could figure out how to get those maize farmer out of aflatoxin problem, We will need to better understand the social dynamics around maize production itself. We will conduct interviews with the residents of Hai district, the team will came with the insights that would guide zero aflatoxin design. 


Because the design team will talk to lots of people, and because they knew that they’d have to anchor the service model deeply in the community, they will decided to learn more and test some of their ideas with a co-creation session. While conducting interviews in the Inspiration phase, the team will met with dozens of people. So the team will invite maize farmers to a two-day workshop where they will join the process and they will help to design this, brainstorming a objectives,goals, and more. The two days will be incredibly fruitful, with the maize farmers quickly jumping into the roles of designer, prototyper, and problem solver. By inserting these community members directly into the design process itself, the team will grasp so much more than it could have by simply interviewing them. They will learn about social dynamics in kongwa district, how power should be balanced throughout the community, and how a service that treats people like farmers might have a chance at sustainability.
 Armed with the desires and ideas of the community, the design team will get  a clear vision of how zero aflatoxin should work, how it should communicate, and how it might nourishing food future for Hai by 2050. So after a few more furious weeks of designing the system, service, business, identity, and more, the design team will  create zero aflatoxin roadmap.


Together with maize food producer farmers, Zero aflatoxin design team will devised on  a full-on sustainable business tailored to meet the aflatoxin realities people in the kongwa district face every day. It will extend from a business model to a staffing structure, launch plan, and all components of the service. As they set zero aflatoxin in motion, bringing it to farmers community in one of the world’s poorest district, they will went far beyond the playbook that zero aflatoxin team will laid out. Instead, 

We will take this  human-centered approach to implementing zero aflatoxin vision. A perfect example is how zero aflatoxin will continue to build on the design principle that transparency is key so our team will design clear signage with posted services they provide, We will realize that the zero aflatoxin will be even better serve the community if will have a maize farmers bill of rights. Through close collaboration with community, Zero aflatoxin will deeply understands how to implement, adapt, and grow prevention of aflatoxin as it will continues to build out the multi-offer service. Therefore,Zero aflatoxin  is human centered  vision which engage with existing local food  producers commonly maize and agricultural and marketing cooperatives societies (AMCOS) in existing local government area of Hai  district kilimanjaro Tanzania, to promote the zero aflatoxin   as a means to prevent and counter aflatoxin in maize. Enabling farmers to prevent and tackle aflatoxin by building community led prevention and response mechanisms. We want to engage communities to be actively in prevent incidents of aflatoxin by promoting behavior change regarding prevention of aflatoxin and precautions, and transferring technical knowhow to use traditional aflatoxin prevention materials. We will engage community groups commonly maize and groundnuts farmers to raise awareness on safety and prevention measures. We will support them to develop their own aflatoxin preparedness and management plan (e.g.  safe maize preparation techniques for prevent aflatoxin), and provide them with aflatoxin preventing materials so that they can put out aflatoxin before spreading, ensure prevention and get support from relevant authorities. We will connect these maize and groundnuts farmers groups with Tanzania aflatoxin prevention Service and Food safety authority for long term engagement.

We effectively connect the maize and groundnut farmers who affect by aflatoxin with relevant authorities so that they are able to voice their concerns and demand more pro-poor and accountable services.

This initiative will prevent aflatoxin by creating a community led protection mechanism. As for design principles the initiative is highly participatory in nature which ensures flexibility, adaptability and optimized use of limited resources. It allows addressing both acute and chronic aflatoxin. It has strong gender focus due to that fact that often women are engaging in maize and groundnuts production in slums. It will engage existing community groups and institutions which will allow linking with existing food systems and strengthening them and equipping communities with the physical tools to address the issue.

We use human centered design through community driven approach to reduce aflatoxin risk that makes different from other initiatives as we believe that community people are the major agents of tackling problem. We just need to capacitate them to realize their potential. It encompasses both the preparedness measures and response mechanism though we are predominantly focusing on ways of avoiding aflatoxin occurrence.

 Action from maize farmers comes first, both in pre and post aflatoxin occurrence. The mechanism will ensure a functional partnership between the community and local government. Meanwhile, due the impact and issue faced by different segment of the society, this vision takes an inclusive approach of forming representative community group considering age, gender and economic condition.

The principle of human centred design will be employed in the zero aflatoxin vision by engaging the maize farmers and making them to actively participate in determining the course of their own interventions for preventing aflatoxin. This principle probably will went a long way in promoting the willingness of the maize farmers to seek interventions for preventing aflatoxin, which also in turn served the ultimate benefit of promoting the safe diet,increase economics of farmers,protecting environment,stimulate growth of technology and local culture of preserving food. 

Zero aflatoxin is a vision which link and fosters meaningful connections with other food system such technology, diet ,culture, policy and economics by matching common interests & inspiring genuine outcome.  We link zero aflatoxin with technolgy by encourage use of appropriate technology in preventing aflatoxin in food staple like maize  so as to strength our food system by enlist farmers to have appropriate technological tools and resources which detect aflatoxin at early stage which will allow early prevention strategies. Zero aflatoxin is a vision which link with diet in our food system through provide farmers with the tool and resources which encourage farmers to have safe maize flour which is a source of diet in local communities,

Zero aflatoxin vision link with policy making in strengthening our food system by providing the evidence based information regarding aflatoxin by which policy makers will use those evedenced based information to formulate policies for zero aflatoxin.

Zero aflatoxin vision link with economic empowerment of local small holder farmers through encourage farmers to prevent the aflatoxin in maize which finally they will sell their crops by group buying strategy which finally they will increase their income. Zero aflatoxin link with culture by fostering local maize farmers to use local cultural foods commonly maize which is free from aflatoxin.

 At this level will also include to educating maize farmers  about what it means  maize to have  aflatoxin,and helping farmers to address misconceptions and misinformation that are often associated with aflatoxin and share experiences about aflatoxin, counseling and support for the maize farmers  by establishment of maize farmers Support Groups where these farmers can share their apprehension and concerns so as to learning more on techniques about prevention of aflatoxin including building their self esteem against aflatoxin.

We will use system thinking approach by working collaboratively for solutions. We believe that the ultimate solution to the aflatoxin must include many stakeholders who will all gain from improved prevention of aflatoxin. We have learned that farmers learn the best when they have personal interactions with their peers and can apply knowledge to their particular situation. Our programs help people act. We provide maize farmers with tools and practices that promote self-confidence, resilience, and self-sufficiency in preventing aflatoxin and to foster hope, happiness, and well-being in maize farmer’s lives.

  We will address the lack of aflatoxin-friendly information. Most information is written for aflatoxin reinforces fear,anziety,stigma in prevents aflatoxin. By working with maize farmers to create a aflatoxin toolkit, will increase understanding of aflatoxin, help break social stigma, and put a stop to aflatoxin faced maize and food value chain.

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Since our Countries are from the East Africa we share a common problem; aflatoxin on maize and the effect of maize in the Society, all the best! we need preventive measures for a better food system

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