Agric stakeholder, Mr Tony Egba has charged the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), to pay more attention to the process of producing, packaging and storage of food items, for the purpose of safety and hygiene.
Egba was reacting to the interview granted to the News Agency of Nigeria by NAFDAC’s Director on Special Duties, Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, who said that there were arrangements to orientate farmers in Kogi and Ondo States on how to handle food chain from the farms to consumers’ table.
“Farmers are primary producers and they do minimal handling of food in its crude form. For food safety and hygienic practice, NAFDAC needs to pay more attention to the processors and the process of producing, packaging and storage of the food item in question”, he said.
According to the NAFDAC director, the need for sensitisation became evident following the death of nine people after consuming “Amala” made from poisonous cassava flour. The incident had occurred in Ogaminana, Adavi Local Government Area of Kogi State in November, 2016.
Jimoh informed that farmers would be trained on best practices and the correct way of applying fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals for storage of their harvests.
“We will teach farmers how to dry their produce because they often spread them on the express way where such are exposed to contamination and it is hazardous to the health of citizens. Though, this is not part of the mandate of NAFDAC as we deal mainly with processed foods, but we cannot close our eyes in a matter that affects peoples’ health,’’ he added.