Measuring, predicting and adapting to aflatoxin risk under climate variability and change
Mycotoxins contaminate approximately 25% of the worlds food supply. Aflatoxins are potent carcinogenic and toxic mycotoxins with adverse effects on health and trade and the levels of contamination are strongly influenced by weather. This project, lead by Andy Challinor and with partners in the Faculty of Medicine and Health , the Université de THIES in Senegal and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture will use expertise in human health and in climate and crop processes to combine predictive quantitative modelling of aflatoxin on crops with blood-based biomarkers of aflatoxin exposure. Taking this novel holistic approach will enable assessment of the seasonal predictability of human exposure to aflatoxin. A forecasting tool will be developed that has the potential for both immediate benefit and longer-term enabling of adaptation to climate change. Throughout the project, the robustness of results will be assessed by quantifying uncertainty, and hence permitting probabilistic assessments. The project will begin towards the end of 2009 and will last sixteen months. It is funded by the CGIAR Agriculture and Health Research Platform .