Best Projects 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category click HERE
Explain your project in details:
Reducing mycotoxin contamination in grains and cereals is a major hinderance in the agricultural development sector. While mycotoxins occur on many crops in many countries, the associated health burden is more visible in Sub-Saharan Africa. Mycotoxins are produced by different fungi such as Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium classified as secondary metabolites that invade crops in the fields, during storage (pre harvest and post harvest), processing, transportation and feeding under favorable conditions of humidity and temperature since they are only produced under aerobic conditions. Mycotoxins have emerged as the most challenging food safety threats in many countries in Africa, and research is necessary for the problem to be tackled using scientific methods. There is need to address the issue of mycotoxins, which are a Hidden threat to food safety and human health on the continent of Africa. The subsistence farming populations in Uganda are exposed to these fungi through maize consumption since Corn and Ground nuts are always dried on ground where the attack of these microorganisms is on high rate. Small children, below five years of age, are highly exposed to mycotoxins, which can have serious consequences on health and nutrition status. They can affect growth and development in children. Mycotoxins are fatal to peoples health and can cause cancer and in some cases immediate death. The impacts of consuming low doses of mycotoxins over a prolonged period can be far reaching, particularly in young people. Through research it has been recognized that some of these toxins can cause cancer and in children the toxins have been linked to impaired growth, underweight, and can make them more susceptible to infectious diseases in childhood and later in life. Therefore, food safety is one of the key issues in food and nutrition security and should be addressed through scientific research.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Mycotoxins are major food contaminants affecting most of nation food security especially in low developing countries. Toxisafe focuses on holistic, integrated and innovative key strategies for mycotoxin management in both food and feed chains and ensuring that people from the critical areas have the right to safe food through mycotoxin management strategies and regulation, which are fundamental to minimizing the unequal access to safe and sufficient food within the country and around the continent. We are committed to improve the safety of available food and feed, particularly by reducing its mycotoxin content, promote education in the family context of dietary and environmental factors and choices that affect mycotoxin exposure, Provide advice on mycotoxin regulations developed by academic and governmental experts and their practical implementation, Provide farmers with information that enables rational decisions/solutions for addressing potential mycotoxin problems, respect and protect the environment through responsible behaviour and sound practices, such as recycling or remediation, to reduce mycotoxins in food and feed. we are ready to play an active role in building a sustainably safe food supply, with lower mycotoxin content, including innovative solutions, that stem from our collective work, creativity and skills.
Sustainability and future plans
Within the next 6 years, our business model focuses on increasing access to quality food for African citizens by considering the limitations of producers and designing cost-effective strategies to minimize mycotoxin exposure. Furthermore, we aim at improving product safety and enhance profitability for all participants in the food chain, while minimizing price increases for consumers. During this period, we plan to continue developing and adapting new strategies to monitor and predict mycotoxin contamination in specific foods/feeds and in particular geographic regions around the continent. We plan to develop partnerships with different experts and sustain the systematic development of research centres that work on mycotoxins in different parts of the continent. We are also looking for investors that will help us invest in research, promoting a wider sharing of results and their implications for the collective good, without distinction between the public and the private sector. After making the public aware of mycotoxins, we shall build a database of information on health-related risks associated with mycotoxins, translate existing monitoring technologies into on-site/storage-specific application tools for growers to record data on mycotoxin contamination and to communicate these data through modern information and communication technology (ICT) systems. Improve production, storage, processing and logistics, to reduce (or eliminate) mycotoxin contamination Produce and market healthy, safe food, informing consumers about the mycotoxin risk Contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 12 (Good health and wellbeing and Responsible consumption and production respectively), by using innovative processes, products and services and by adopting and practicing codes of social responsibility
Your profile as an entrepreneur
Alex Kyeyune 7th September 1990 In my third year of study at EARTH University, I did a four months internship in GAOS Biodynamic farm in Holland, I worked in alternative feeds for beef cattle and value addition of meat products. In my senior year, I am the coordinator of Pasture management and silage production as my professional work experience. My graduation thesis is "Develop and Evaluate the Efficiency of Mycotoxin Clay Binders in Animal Feeds" under the supervision of Professor B.K. Singh and Professor Carlos Orozco. AWARDS Grand prize winner 2012 Africa Rural Connect a program for national Peace Corps Association. MasterCard Foundation scholarship at EARTH UNIVERSITY - May 2014 Regional winner of Hult Prize competitions at EARTH UNIVERSITY - November 2015 Grand prize winner of Resolution Social Venture Challenge by MasterCard Foundation in Ghana - July 2016