The Tanzania Initiative for Preventing Aflatoxin Contamination (TANIPAC)project is being designed within the context of Tanzania Development Vision 2025 (TDV 2025), which places a high priority on the agriculture sector. The TDV 2025 identifies the following three priority goals: (i) ensuring basic food security; (ii) improving income levels; and (ii) increasing export earnings. The National Five Year Development Plan (2016/17 – 2020/21) also identifies the agriculture sector as a priority for the country, and in addition recognizes the need for scale up of nutrition specific interventions to prevent stunting. The specific agricultural sector strategies and programmes such as the Agriculture Sector Development Strategy (ASDS); the Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP II); the Tanzania national multi-sectoral nutrition action plan 2016-2021; and the Tanzania Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plan (TAFSIP), among others, also emphasise the importance of nutrition and food security.
The Bank’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP) 2016-20, is supporting the Government’s strategies to transform the economy forinclusive and green growth. The CSP is articulated around two strategic pillars: (i) Infrastructure development and (ii) Strengthening governance and accountability.
In Tanzania, a recent aflatoxicosis outbreak asreported in the central zone (Dodoma and Manyara regions) affected65 people resulting in 19 deaths. Laboratory analyses indicated heavy contamination with aflatoxin occurrence as high as 300 ppb, more than 30 times than the recommended safe limit. A country situational assessment on the aflatoxin problem conducted with the support from Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) confirmed low level of awareness on aflatoxin issues, limited access to guidelines for good agricultural practices and poor storage were behind the prevalence of aflatoxin in maize and groundnuts grown and consumed in Tanzania. Also policies and strategies are absent to combat this problem which creates health and nutritional problems.
Aflatoxin contamination impacts every aspect of the affected value chain. Therefore addressing the problem requires a holistic approach targeting on-farm production, harvest, storage, processing, and logistic practices, involving both the public and private sector to reduce food losses and increase the availability of safe and nutritious food. Following the evidence presented and the fact that the problem originated from agricultural sources, coupled with weak regulatory system and low awareness among key actors of the food value chain, the TANIPAC Project is proposed to intervene on key areas that contribute significantly to the spread of the problem. The project is expected to minimize aflatoxin occurrence in the food system attained through an integrated approach in maize and groundnuts food chains with the overall impact of improving food safety, food and nutrition security, hence improving the health of our communities, as well as agricultural productivity and trade.
As indicated in section 2.2, between 25% and 45% of maize produced in the country is contaminated by aflatoxin. High aflatoxin level exceeding the set limits (5 and 10 ppb for B1 and total aflatoxin has also been observed in groundnuts. Among the risks associated with consumption of contaminated maize and groundnuts include immune suppression, malnutrition, liver cancer and death with acute exposure. Furthermore, chronic exposure is common since majority of households consume home-grown maize which does not undergo any quality assessment through the regulatory system. A country situational assessment on the aflatoxin problem conducted with the support from Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) confirmed low level of awareness on aflatoxin issues, limited access to guidelines for good agricultural practices and poor storage were behind the prevalence of aflatoxin in maize and groundnuts grown and consumed in Tanzania. Also policies and strategies are absent to combat this problem which creates health and nutritional problems.