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Abstract

Aflatoxin is a potent mycotoxin that can cause cancer, stunted growth, and (in extreme instances) rapid death. Aflatoxin can contaminate many staple crops, including maize and groundnuts. As many as 4.5 billion people in the developing world may be chronically exposed. Scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Resource Service, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and African Agricultural Technology Foundation have developed a biological control product called Aflasafe. IITA is currently working with the AgResults initiative to promote widespread adoption of Aflasafe in Nigeria and with the Aflasafe Technology Transfer and Commercialization Program to promote Aflasafe adoption in 11 African countries. In the fall of 2016, 902 oral surveys were administered to smallholder maize farmers in Nigeria. The survey was developed to obtain data regarding farmer awareness of aflatoxin and Aflasafe. At least 88% of farmers who head heard of aflatoxin claimed to recognize the negative health impacts of aflatoxin consumption on human and animal health. Private sector players were critical sources of information about Aflasafe for farmers. First-time users of Aflasafe persisted more frequently in purchasing the product in future growing seasons in some states than others. Stronger relationships between farmers and input suppliers seemed to increase the likelihood a farmer would repurchase. Farmers who purchase Aflasafe bundled with other inputs appeared more likely to repurchase than farmers who purchase Aflasafe stand-alone.

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