A university lecturer, Dr Dan Agboola has advised farmers and other produce stakeholders against using re-agents to ripen fruits and vegetable to avoid health complications.
Agboola, a Microbiologist who lectures at the Lagos State University (LASU), gave this advice as a guest to the Ojo Farmers Weekly Workshop on Thursday in Lagos.
The workshop, organised in conjunction with Alpha Feed Ltd., was held to keep farmers abreast of innovations in modern agricultural practice.
According to him, eating vegetables and fruits artificially ripening is the cause of many illnesses among Nigerians.
“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, he said.
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.’’
Agbola said that the use of “Sniper” and other harmful chemicals as an ingredient for pest control was hazardous too.
He said that such practice should be discarded with, adding that it could cause pollution or food poisoning.
The microbiologist also advised farmers and sellers to seek professional advice on better methods to apply insecticides and pesticides in order not endanger people’s lives.
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He said that Nigerians should be weary of such unnaturally prepared food items to avoid health crisis such as cancers and other diseases.
Also speaking, Mr Kayode Alao, one of the farmers, spoke on the objectives of the weekly forum, saying it would help many farmers to improve their farm productivity.
Alao said no farmers would like to have a product that people would eat and become sick.
“This session has really opened our eyes to things we are doing ignorantly.
“It has exposed us to better markets for our products, especially the corporate markets,’’ he said. (NAN)