Two essays on peanut aflatoxin risk in Ghana
Kanyam, Daniel Akwasi
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This dissertation consists of two essays on aflatoxin risk mitigation in peanuts in Ghana. The first essay uses a unique dataset that combines aflatoxin test results with detailed survey data to examine how the constraints Ghanaian households face affect their peanuts production, drying, and storage practices, and how these practices affect aflatoxin levels. Results show a significant association of high aflatoxin levels with delayed harvest and drying on bare dirt, while sorting by quality results in a reduction in aflatoxin levels. The second essay assesses the effect of post-harvest measures (here improved methods of groundnuts drying and storage) on aflatoxin contamination levels in peanuts crops for subsistence farmers in the Northern and Upper East Region of Ghana. The result shows that sun drying on a tarpaulin reduces aflatoxin levels in groundnuts by approximately 40 percent compared to status quo methods of drying.