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Open AccessArticle

Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Malawian Farmers on Pre- and Post-Harvest Crop Management to Mitigate Aflatoxin Contamination in Groundnut, Maize and Sorghum—Implication for Behavioral Change

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Smart Food Initiative, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru, Hyderabad 502324, India
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Eastern and Southern Africa Research Program, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Lilongwe P.O. Box 1096, Malawi
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Development Strategy and Governance Division, International Food Policy Research Institute, Lilongwe P.O. Box 31666, Malawi
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United in Building and Advancing Life Expectations Project, Catholic Relief Services, Private Bag 319, Lilongwe, Malawi
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Agriculture Livelihood and Environment, Catholic Relief Services, Lusaka P.O. Box 38080, Zambia
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Eastern and Southern Africa Research Program, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Nairobi P.O. Box 39063, Kenya
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2019, 11(12), 716; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11120716
Received: 10 November 2019 / Revised: 28 November 2019 / Accepted: 3 December 2019 / Published: 9 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins in Food: Origin and Management of Risk)
A knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) study was conducted in three districts of Malawi to test whether the training had resulted in increased knowledge and adoption of recommended pre- and post-harvest crop management practices, and their contribution to reducing aflatoxin contamination in groundnut, maize and sorghum. The study was conducted with 900 farmers at the baseline and 624 farmers at the end-line, while 726 and 696 harvested crop samples were collected for aflatoxin testing at the baseline and end-line, respectively. Results show that the knowledge and practice of pre- and post-harvest crop management for mitigating aflatoxin were inadequate among the farmers at the baseline but somewhat improved after the training as shown at the end-line. As a result, despite unfavorable weather, the mean aflatoxin contamination level in their grain samples decreased from 83.6 to 55.8 ppb (p < 0.001). However, it was also noted that increased knowledge did not significantly change farmers’ attitude toward not consuming grade-outs because of economic incentive incompatibility, leaving potential for improving the practices further. This existing gap in the adoption of aflatoxin mitigation practices calls for approaches that take into account farmers’ needs and incentives to attain sustainable behavioral change. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundnut; maize; sorghum; aflatoxin control; pre- and post-harvest practices; KAP groundnut; maize; sorghum; aflatoxin control; pre- and post-harvest practices; KAP
MDPI and ACS Style

Anitha, S.; Tsusaka, T.W.; Njoroge, S.M.; Kumwenda, N.; Kachulu, L.; Maruwo, J.; Machinjiri, N.; Botha, R.; Msere, H.W.; Masumba, J.; Tavares, A.; Heinrich, G.M.; Siambi, M.; Okori, P. Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Malawian Farmers on Pre- and Post-Harvest Crop Management to Mitigate Aflatoxin Contamination in Groundnut, Maize and Sorghum—Implication for Behavioral Change. Toxins 2019, 11, 716.

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