The economic losses associated with aflatoxin are estimated to be large; however, there is a dearth of systematic studies that empirically estimate a) economic losses (in terms of both health and income) for all stakeholders along the value chain, b) economic impact of interventions, and c) socio-economic factors affecting adoption. While there have been a number of scientific studies regarding aflatoxin control options, there has not been subsequent large-scale adoption of risk reducing technologies, particularly in the developing countries. Furthermore, there has not been systematic data collection regarding how the prevalence of aflatoxin changes as products move along the value chain.
The Aflacontrol project focuses on smallholder production using a value chain approach: the maize value chain in Kenya and the groundnut value chain in Mali. The value chain approach in this context is vital: the risk of contamination and prevalence changes as products move along the value chain, as do strategies to mitigate that risk. Furthermore, the incentives to mitigate risks may depend on the price premium that an individual actor receives for their role in the value chain as well, as the perceived risk of contamination further down the chain.