Delivery of a quality assurance program for horticultural crops in Mali
Jean M. Cobb, email@example.com, Patricia A. Hipkins, firstname.lastname@example.org, Donald E. Mullins, email@example.com, and Keith M. Moore, firstname.lastname@example.org. (1) VA Tech, Biochemistry Department, 352 Litton Reaves Hall, Blacksburg, VA, (2) VA Tech, OIRED, 840 University City Blvd, Blacksburg, VA
For the past five years, Virginia Tech has participated in a project providing technical support to a pesticide residue laboratory and developing a pesticide safety education program in Mali, West Africa. The purpose of the project was to support laboratory and field activities needed for a sustainable quality assurance program for horticultural crops. Technical support for the Environmental Toxicology Laboratory (ETL) included an annual exchange of personnel from VA Tech and technicians from the ETL, when training and problem solving occurred. As a result of this project, the ETL now provides pesticide analyses on a variety of crop and environmental samples. Collaboration with several Malian government agencies and VA Tech initiated a pesticide safety training program, supported by teaching materials produced in the native language. These materials, lesson plans, and train-the-trainer workshops are enabling Malian scientists and extension specialists to deliver pesticide safety lessons to farmers in field schools and other production meetings, promoting the safe use of pesticides.