MYTOX-SOUTH intends to harness the expertise and infrastructure available at UGent to strengthen the capacity of the Southern partners to tackle the mycotoxin problem and the associated food safety and food security issues. This inter-continental partnership will lead to MYTOX-SOUTH as the number 1 network for mycotoxin research, education and service to society. MYTOX-SOUTH is a partnership to improve food security & food safety through mitigation of mycotoxins at global level with the following long term goals:
- BUILDING HUMAN CAPACITY
Networking through collaboration is key in human capacity building. Strengthening the human capacity of partners in the South is essential to mentor a new breed of innovators and young researchers whose expertise is intimately tied to health outcomes. MYTOX-SOUTH will start by training, student/staff exchange programs and Joint PhDs which can contribute to an increased capacity of partners in the South and the identification of new research areas to reduce mycotoxin risks, to transfer knowledge on several detection techniques, to ameliorate pre- and post-harvest practices by using mycotoxin binders, biological control agents and other intervention techniques, to assess the risks when consumers are exposed to mycotoxins, et cetera.
- BRIDGING THE GAP
For two decades focus has been set towards the problem of aflatoxins, however there has not been paid enough attention to the coordination of local (African) research capacity. Development actors are getting mobilized to tackle the problem, but bridging research and development in this field is challenging. Mycotoxin contamination of food and feed requires a development and research policy which translates research outcomes into practical ways which can bridge the gap between (1) research and the development of more safe food & feed, and (2) different actors including farmer organizations, NGO’s such as Mycotoxicology Associations, the private sector and policy makers.
- CREATING A SUSTAINABLE NETWORK
MYTOX-SOUTH will contribute to the coordination of research actors in order to focus skills and resources, and to improve the communication between research and non-research actors. Addressing this, it is more convenient to define and follow national and regional action plans. A stimulating environment for a fruitful public-private partnership is a pre-requisite for long-term and sustainable innovation. A greater financial sustainability of the MYTOX-SOUTH platform will allow the rapid application of (research) innovations and lead to positive impacts. As a solid consortium, MYTOX-SOUTH seeks for international funding opportunities to further enhance its capacity to deal with mycotoxins and the related food safety and food security challenges. By involving the Northern partners as CAS China, BioIntellipro LLC, the World Food Preservation Centre® LLC, USDA and PAEPARD a world-wide visibility will be achieved.