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A research and testing facility under the food science research centre located in chilanga at the animal science research centre of NISIR. The mycotoxicology laboratory conducts research in mycotoxins and also provides analytical testing services to industry when need arises.

Aflatoxin for example – the most potent and most feared mycotoxin – can lead to acute exposure poisoning resulting in liver damage and even death if you ingest it in elevated levels. More than 40% of maize in zambia, for example, has shown contamination with fumonisin-B1 – a class 2 potential carcinogen – with levels above that prescribed for public health by scientific advisory expert groups like the joint FAO/WHO expert committee on food additives. Under poor storage conditions of agricultural commodities, aflatoxin will build up to dangerously high levels capable of causing deleterious acute toxicity.

Generally, mycotoxins affect health and have a negative impact on your livestock’s productivity.

In trade, mycotoxin contamination costs africa more than $670 million trade loses due to agricultural produce rejections and zambia is not spared from the post-harvest loss. University rankings wiki this is due to strict regulations for maximum allowable limits for mycotoxins in food and feed that the USA and EU have implemented.

The national institute for scientific and industrial research (NISIR) has made a place for itself as the premier research institute nationally, regionally and internationally. I am glad to be a part of this important organization at a time when zambia is emphasizing the importance of science, technology and innovation to the economic development of our country. Scientific research, technology development and innovations are getting strong support from, his excellency the president of the republic of zambia .

We are in the process of reviewing our past achievements and preparing for our future with plans to create several specialized centres of excellence and link our research products to technology developers and users. In formulating our research agenda and defining our priorities, we will look more closely at our national needs and ways to address them. The process of change will cover the ways we operate, as well as our organizational structure and the areas of focus.

NISIR has created a strong knowledge base with regard to its research programs in food safety and nutrition, biotechnology, water and environment, and nuclear energy application. In order to achieve its aspirations, NISIR will endeavour to improve its information and , optimize available resources and take advantage of every opportunity to achieve its goals through the effective utilization of information communication technology (ICT) .

NISIR in kitwe is using this micro propagation technique in various crops such as cassava, bananas, pineapple, sweet potatoes, eucalyptus, artemisia, potatoes, and sugarcane. Activities in this research category include development of protocols for regeneration of whole plants from plant cells or tissue cultures, rapid multiplication of plants and conservation of germ-plasm of different crops.

The programme is using this micro propagation technique in various crops such as cassava, bananas, pineapple, sweet potatoes, eucalyptus, artemisia, potatoes, and sugarcane. Activities in this research category include development of protocols for regeneration of whole plants from plant cells or tissue cultures, rapid multiplication of plants and conservation of germ-plasm of different crops. Cassava crop improvement

Three cassava local varieties (bangweulu, nalumino and mweru) are being investigated. The first material that was irradiated with gamma rays is now in the fourth generation under-going field evaluations. American university student population the objectives are to improve the nutritional characteristics and agronomic traits of these local varieties. This project is an IAEA sponsored project. IAEA has funded the training of staff and provision of equipment. The zambian government has continued to provide the counter-part funding for the execution of project activities.

Micropropagation of selected eucalyptus clones in zambia. There has been an increase in the demand for plants with superior growth potential. Micropropagation has the potential to provide very high multiplication rates to meet the demand of selected tree genotypes, with resulting short-term sivilcultural gains.

The studies on micropropagation of eucalyptus grandis and eucalyptus cloeziana is a study that has been jointly funded by zambia forestry and forest industries corporation limited (ZAFFICO) and national institute for scientific and industrial research (NISIR). It is aimed at utilization of tissue culture technique to raise superior eucalyptus planting material for ZAFFICO for the establishment of seed orchards. Tissue calture bananas in a screen house SERVICES• supplying tissue cultured disease free and superior planting material for cassava, sweet potato, pineapple, banana, sugar-cane and irish potato.

The laboratory carried out research related to traditional livestock with the aim of improving livestock productivity through appropriate technologies and offers consultancy in areas such as; management practices, nutrition and pasture, distribution and seasonal activity of ticks, and ecology, biology and population dynamics of tsetse.

Have included but not limited to: analytical services in pregnancy diagnosis in livestock using radioimmunoassay technique (livestock productivity) demonstration field to farmers for production of lowcost fodder crops as livestock feed (nutrition and pasture) sensitization and training of farmer groups and extension staff in IKS/integrated diseases management strategies. (tick control) evaluation of chemotype of tephrosia vogelii: validation of the efficacy of dried leaves (tick control) CURRENT WORK

Evaluation of tephrosia vogelii chemotype 1 as tick acaricide the plant is alternative to conventional acaricides in the control of ticks. Advantages of using the natural acaricide i) cheaper than conventional acaricides ii) material can be propagated by a farmer and easily infused without need for sophisticated equipment iii) less persistent in the environment compared to certain acaricides

Establishment of efficacy of dried pounded leaves of T.Vogelii as natural acaricide. – training of more than 100 farmers in the use of the plant to control cattle ticks under the sanbio phase I of the project. Its efficacy was hence proven on field. It is also envisaged that the utilization of such indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) can add to improved livestock productivity and the subsequent uplifting of rural livelihood through reduced livestock tick disease burden

Food science research centre (FSRC) is one of the research centres of national institute for scientific and industrial research (NISIR) , located at NISIR headquarters along the kenneth kaunda international airport road in lusaka. It consists of the following programs: food processing and engineering programme, biotechnology programme nutrition & food programme.

The center laboratory is able to measure body composition in two components i.E. Fat-free (lean) mass and fat mass by the use of isotopic technique which is a more accurate method (gold standard) to determine the nutrition status of people. In addition, the laboratory uses other methods such as; body mass index (BMI), skin fold thickness, body circumference and bioelectric. Impedance analysis (BIA) in the assessment of nutrition status. The equipment used in these techniques are; fourier transform infra-red (FTIR), body weight scale, stand metre, callipers, measuring tapes and BIA.

The national biotechnology laboratory was officially opened on 27th april 2007 as a result of bilateral cooperation between the governments of zambia and norway. Top universities chemical engineering it is housed at chilanga centre. The laboratory is equipped to carry out genetic assays to screen for genetically modified organisms (GMO) contamination in agricultural imports and exports. Analytical services in GMO testing (seeds and processed foods) are provided to the public.

The centre does also have a mycotoxin testing capability and offers analytical services in qualitative analysis of such toxins as aflatoxin and ochratoxin in food products. Many countries have put regulations on mycotoxins in foods and as such there is need for mycotoxin clearance of zambian foodstuffs if they have to be exported to countries that have put regulation on mycotoxins. The laboratory houses the high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and a fluorimeter.