In Honduras, maize is a staple in most people’s diets, consumed multiple times a day, primarily in the form of tortillas. However, there is a concern that mycotoxins in the maize supply will have country-wide impacts that hold back the development for all of Honduras. Mycotoxins have been shown to cause cancer, suppress the immune system and are associated with child stunting. Nationally, 23 percent of children under five years of age are stunted. Children who are chronically undernourished not only suffer from stunted growth, but from delayed cognitive development as well. This developmental delay hinders these children’s capacity to develop the mental and physical attributes necessary to lead productive lives during adulthood, undercutting their ability to break away from poverty.
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for the Reduction of Post-Harvest Loss is conducting an Assessment of Mycotoxins in the Corn Value Chain in Western Honduras to study the prevalence of mycotoxins in the corn value chain and to build capacity within Zamorano University, a leading agricultural university in Honduras, to carry out such analyses in the future.