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PMIL Haiti Meetings June 12

11391354_10205974457216508_3961220407584212455_n-2On June 12, PMIL hosted a successful workshop in Port au Prince, “Priorities for Addressing Mycotoxins in Haiti.” The workshop involved the PMIL team and a number of local stakeholders.

There were several presentations on the health and economic development risks associated with mycotoxins, with an update on research findings in Haiti.

Following these presentations, a panel of public and private sector participants discussed the priorities to address mycotoxins in Haiti. Panelists included Dan Brown, Lemane Delva, Jean Marc Ewald, Jagger Harvey, and Rob Johnson.

In the afternoon PMIL’s Haiti Value Chain project met to discuss the morning’s progress and began planning for the upcoming year.

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PMIL Haiti Events 11 June 2015

 

UGA CAES Dean Angle with family near the Central Plateau Depot.

UGA CAES Dean Angle with family near the Central Plateau Depot.

PMIL’s Haiti events began early Thursday morning June 11th, with a drive to the Central Plateau to visit an Acceso Peanut Enterprise Depot, the Partners in Health (PIH) RUTF factory, and a peanut nursery and research site.

Rob Johnson demonstrates aflatoxin field test to Dave Hoisington, Pat Wolff and Amrit Bart.

Rob Johnson demonstrates aflatoxin field test to Dave Hoisington, Pat Wolff and Amrit Bart.

The depot is situated in a remote farming village in the central plateau. Residents of the area rely almost solely on farming for income.

At the depot, Rob Johnson, General Manager of Acceso Peanut Enterprise Corporation, explained the credit system that they use to allow farmers to purchase seed and then sell their crop back to the depot. Depot managers are hired from the local community and trained to use FarmForce software and tablets. Each depot manager is issued a tablet to sync information on credit, sales, projected yields, aflatoxin content and other measures for each farmer participating in the program.

Farmers participating in the system receive education on safe and productive agricultural practices, such as how to mitigate post-harvest aflatoxin. They also receive peanut seeds that have been tested and proven to be a productive and profitable variety in the area.

As part of the tour, they also described and demonstrated their method of aflatoxin testing.

The group also toured the Partners in Health RUTF factory near IMG_3928Mirebalais. The factory operates purely from donations and distributes the RUTF produced through PIH’s clinics in the area. They also purchase locally-grown peanuts from Acceso. In addition, Acceso contracts the facility to sort, shell and roast peanuts for sale to the commercial sector.

Following this the group headed to a PMIL research field site. The plot is used by PMIL researchers to evaluate new peanut varieties and various crop management practices.

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Dean Angle, Dave Hoisington and Bob Kemerait observing peanuts in the field.

 

Lauren Singh: Malnutrition Interventions

Notes from the Field: Lauren Singh 

IMG_0122Lauren Singh, research coordinator at Washington University working with Dr. Mark Manary, traveled to Blantyre, Malawi in January. Upon her return, she shared some of her experiences and photos from her first trip to Malawi to work on the study.

“One of the most rewarding things was meeting the babies. I took the measurements of two of the babies at their 3-month post-partum visit. One of the mothers participating in the study that I met, her baby was born at a healthy weight and is not malnourished.

In Malawi, the study is known as ‘Mama Chiponde.’ Chiponde is the local name for peanut paste. This is one of the supplementary foods given to the mother in the study.

During my visit, I assisted with data collection at two of the study sites. Once moderately malnourished pregnant women are enrolled in the study, they are followed every two weeks until they deliver their baby. At these follow-up visits the mother’s measurements are taken and they are given a supply of one of the supplementary foods that they have been assigned to.

I helped take anthropometric measurements such as height, weight, and mid upper arm Nurse administers surveycircumference. Once the mother delivers, the study follows the mother and baby for three months.

The mothers of the study seemed pleased that the project gives them assistance during their pregnancy and provides them with a greater potential to deliver a healthy baby.”

Read more about Mark Manary’s research project.