Scientists at Virginia Tech share their expertise on the biological control of aflatoxins

Aflatoxin Control in Pakistan is a public-private partnership program led by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and a USA-based company Ingredion and its Pakistani subsidiary, Rafhan Maize Products Co. Ltd in collaboration with CABI and the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC).

The public-private partnership is working together to develop an indigenous biocontrol product, called AflaPak™, formulated specifically to reduce aflatoxin in maize grown in Pakistan. This biocontrol product is going to be the very first bio-control product of its nature to be registered in Pakistan and will pave the way for providing safer food in the region.

The biological control of aflatoxins is an emerging subject in the Pan-Asian region. For the implementation of this technology in Pakistan and for building local capacity, a group of scientists from Pakistan headed to the Virginia Tech Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Centre, USA, to receive intensive two-week training on this technology under the Cochran Fellowship Program.

The training was conducted by renowned biological control scientists from the USDA Agriculture Research Service and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria, who provided laboratory hands-on training to the fellows. Furthermore, the scientists were also given instruction on the protocols for developing an indigenous biocontrol product.

The scientists learnt valuable lessons to take back to Pakistan

The training program will benefit development of Pakistan’s agriculture as the participants will act as ‘Master Trainers’ and extend the training to the local stakeholders. Moreover, training will also benefit aflatoxin control in Pakistan project by facilitating the awareness campaigns specifically designed for increasing capacity of government officials and maize growing farmers. The Cochran training has also provided a platform where scientists from both USA and Pakistan will be able to collaborate and work together for a national cause on aflatoxin control.

Along with receiving hands-on training at Virginia Tech, fellows participated in meetings with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service team at USDA Headquarters in Washington DC, where the Project Manager for Aflatoxin Control in Pakistan shared the accomplishments of the project with the US inter-agency panel.

For more information, please contact:

Deborah Hamilton

Dr Sabyan Faris Honey
+92 (0)51 8434979 Ext. 143


  1. Dr. Sumaira Maqsood on 5th November 2019 at 5:19 pm

    Hello very nice. If there will be any training in USA kindly invite me I really want this type of training. I am looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks
    Warmest regards
    Dr. Sumaira Maqsood

  2. Mukhdoom Mashhood on 5th November 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Congratulations on the transfer of knowledge. We will have higher expectations now

Leave a Reply

Related News & Blogs

Breaking gender stereotypes and strengthening potato value chains in Pakistan

When it comes to Pakistan’s potato value chains, women’s participation is critical. Women make up around two thirds of the agricultural labour force in Pakistan. However, the role of women in potato value chains is even more valuable compared to other…

4 December 2023