Farmers urged to stop using reagents to ripen fruits, vegetables

*Eating artificially ripened vegetables, fruits cause of many illnesses among Nigerians ─Dr. Dan Agboola

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In order to protect the wellbeing of consumers and avoid health complications, Dr. Dan Agboola, a University lecturer, has advised farmers and other produce stakeholders against using reagents to ripen their fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Agboola, who is a Microbiology lecturer at the Lagos State University (LASU), gave this advice as a guest at the Ojo Farmers Weekly Workshop, in Lagos, says agency report.

Organised in conjunction with Alpha Feed Limited, report says the workshop was held so as to keep farmers abreast of innovations in modern agricultural practices.

The don pointed out that eating vegetables and fruits which were artificially ripened was the cause of many illnesses among Nigerians.

He said: “The reagent chemical contains traces of arsenic and phosphorus, which are hazardous to the human body.

“Many farmers are in a hurry to harvest, and as such, they end up spraying the produce with calcium carbide ignorantly to ripen them faster.

“Anytime you buy ripe plantain, banana, mangoes and others in the market, there are chances you are buying the ones ripened with calcium carbide.”

Agboola, therefore, advised farmers to be patient and allow their produce to mature and ripe naturally before harvest.

“All produce have maturity period and farmers know this very well.

“There is no short-cut with nature.’

“Such a practice should be discarded. It can cause pollution or food poisoning,” the university lecturer said.

He said the use of insecticides popularly called “Sniper” and other harmful chemicals as ingredients for pest control was hazardous, too.

He also urged advised farmers and produce sellers to seek professional advice on better methods of applying insecticides and pesticides in order not to endanger people’s lives.

Nigerians should be wary of such unnaturally prepared food items to avoid health problems such as cancer and other diseases, he stated.

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