The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development launched a sensitization rally against indiscriminate application of agro-chemical substances in preservation of agricultural produce.
The rally organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the women wing of the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), was led by Mrs. Comfort Obi.
During the rally, Mrs. Obi urged farmers and traders at Eke Awka Market, main venue of the rally, to desist from using harmful chemicals such as sniper, sulphites and sorbates in preservation of foods and items, as well as other agricultural produce.
She explained that the chemicals were hazardous and identified them as causative factors of many diseases, such as cancer, renal problems, cardiac diseases and respiratory tract infections.
In the alternative, she recommended the following preservative measures; preservation of fruits and vegetables in baskets lined with jute bags and keeping vegetables after harvest in a cool dry place free from contaminants.
Others are use of fire wood to remove animal skin, instead of use of burning tires and preservation of grains in air tight containers.
She also cautioned farmers and traders against defaulting, saying that arrangements were being made by the Federal Government to set up a task-force that would be responsible for checking the use of such chemicals in food preservation.
The Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano hailed the Federal Government for the commendable initiative, considering the increasing cases of cancer and renal failures among Nigerians.
He advised that the sensitization be made more elaborate using the mass media (print and electronic media), as well as wider coverage of markets/farmers associations to promote the awareness campaign.
Ibeneme Maria – Information Officer II