The peanut (or groundnut as it is called in much of Africa) is an important subsistence crop to millions of people across the world.
Nuts are important nutritionally, providing a convenient source of protein and 30 essential nutrients, and it's an important source of income for these communities.
Aflatoxin is a dangerous fungus that causes mental and physical stunting in children, liver cancer, and immunosuppression.
At Full Belly, we found that our Sheller can be a practical and powerful tool in eliminating exposure to Aflatoxin. In addition, we are currently working on a design for an "Aflatoxin Test Kit" that would allow farmers, villages and families to test their peanut supplies before eating them or selling them for others to eat.
Often referred to as a "women's crop" in Africa, women traditionally grow, harvest and shell the nuts to supplement their families' diets, and also as a product to bring to market.
Even with major field infestation, only 10% of the nuts will be toxic. Most of the crop can be saved with quick shelling, splitting and hand sorting in the village.
Late season drought can increase Aflatoxin levels, because thirsty insects break through the shell of the groundnut in order to get moisture. That small opening allows fungus from the soil get inside. Drought maps are available for most agricultural areas and they can help predict where toxin levels will be high.
Our tools enhance the safety and quality of the groundnuts as follows:
Rocker Water Pump
Improving irrigation using Hand- Drilling Well equipment and our Rocker Water Pump irrigation solution. Proper irrigation is necessary for a plentiful and quality harvest and it is also an effective determinant to Aflatoxin contamination. Our Rocker Water Pump has the ability to bring more water to farmers’ fields with less effort, in a shorter amount of time. In conjunction with a suitable well, farmers can maintain an optimal level of irrigation to produce more of a valuable crop.
Universal Nut Sheller
Increasing efficiency at the production stage from the customary hand-shelling method by using the Universal Nut Sheller, as it shells groundnuts 50 times faster than human hands. Generally, women in Uganda shell peanuts only as needed for meals and for sale at market, since the process is so time-consuming and painful for their hands. The introduction of the Universal Nut Sheller will encourage them to shell the entire groundnut harvest immediately after drying, which will mean they spend less time and energy hand-shelling, more product can be sold at one time, and the crop will be properly stored to ensure it meets local market standards for quality.
- Speeds shelling 50x
- Can split nuts, reveal toxic centers, which hand shelling won’t do
- Prevents cross contamination by women’s fingers
- A rubber cover on the rotor blanches the nuts
Aflatoxin Test Kit
Introducing farmers to the impact of Aflatoxin and the mechanisms for mitigating contamination, while also providing our Aflatoxin Test Kit. The Aflatoxin Test Kit will allow farmers to determine and regulate their aflatoxin levels themselves, using the improved groundnut harvesting methods we’ve developed. Farmers will receive training on how to use, repair and maintain the Aflatoxin Test Kit, in addition to small business training to give them the knowledge and skills necessary to better market their crop.
The Full Belly Project will make available, a complete aflatoxin test kit in a single plastic case.
It will require no refrigeration. The iPad will need periodic charging, but no electricity will be required in the field.
Instructions will be in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. A video will instruct using no language.
We believe that the price will be about $1,000 per unit.
It can be programmed for aflatoxin in maize as well.