Mycotoxins are fungal metabolites that contaminate crops, food, and animal feeds. Aflatoxins and fumonisins are among the mycotoxins that have been increasingly reported to affect health and productivity of livestock globally. Given that the health and productivity of livestock can directly influence human food safety and security, a study was conducted to assess the levels and factors for aflatoxin and fumonisin contamination in feed and feed ingredients in Rwanda. Aflatoxins and fumonisins were analyzed in 3328 feed and feed ingredient samples collected at six time points between March and October 2017 in all 30 districts of Rwanda. Of the 612 participants providing samples, there were 10 feed processors, 68 feed vendors, 225 dairy farmers, and 309 poultry farmers. Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) was used for aflatoxin and fumonisin analyses. Mean aflatoxin levels of 108.83 µg/kg (Median (MD): 43.65 µg/kg), 103.81µg/kg (MD: 48.4 µg/kg), 88.64 µg/kg (MD: 30.90 µg/kg), and 94.95 µg/kg (MD: 70.45 µg/kg) were determined for dairy farmers, poultry farmers, feed vendors, and feed processors, respectively. Mean fumonisin levels were 1.52 mg/kg (MD: 0.71 mg/kg), 1.21 mg/kg (MD: 0.56 mg/kg), 1.48 mg/kg (MD: 0.76 mg/kg), and 1.03 mg/kg (MD: 0.47 mg/kg) for dairy farmers, poultry farmers, feed vendors, and feed processors, respectively. Aflatoxin contamination was significantly affected by time of sampling and district from which feed samples originated (p
< 0.05). Fumonisins did not show any correlation trends. Ninety-two percent of survey participants were unaware of aflatoxins and fumonisins and their adverse effects. This study has provided the basic understanding of the extent of feed contamination across the country and has established a baseline for future interventions in Rwanda. Further studies are needed to explore strategies for mitigating mycotoxins in the feed value chain in Rwanda.
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