Pathology and Mycotoxin/Aflasafe Unit continues outstanding record with multiple BoT awards
Since the establishment of the IITA BoT Awards in 2012, the Pathology and Mycotoxin/Aflasafe Unit of IITA–CGIAR has been frequently recognized for the science, partnerships, and teamwork that are resulting in safer food for millions of consumers and higher income for tens of thousands of farmers who are moving from subsistence to commercial agriculture. The team has achieved the unique milestone of winning IITA BoT awards in all five categories, four of them twice.
The first Outstanding Scientist award was conferred on IITA Emeritus Scientist Ranajit Bandyopadhyay in 2012 for the management of seemingly intractable plant disease problems of all IITA mandate crops in many African countries and for the promising results of the Aflasafe technology, which translated into the Aflasafe Initiative (that he co-founded in 2002) now being recognized as the world authority in aflatoxin biocontrol. In 2021, George Mahuku, Senior Plant Pathologist for East Africa, was recognized as the Outstanding Scientist for his multiple contributions to mycotoxin management in maize and groundnut, Aflasafe activities in Tanzania and Uganda, and research for control of multiple maize (i.e., maize lethal necrosis) and banana diseases (e.g., black Sigatoka, Fusarium wilt, Xanthomonas wilt).