As part of measures to mitigate health complications through fruits being consumed in the country, a university lecturer, Dr. Dan Agboola, has advised farmers and other produce stakeholders against using an artificial method to ripen fruits and vegetables being sold for consumption.
He explained that using reagents among other artificial methods to ripen fruits and vegetables were contributing to statistics of health complications across the country after being consumed by Nigerians.
Agboola, a Microbiology lecturer at the Lagos State University (LASU), explained that eating vegetables and fruits which were artificially ripened was responsible for many illnesses among Nigerians.
Speaking during the Ojo Farmers Weekly Workshop in Lagos organised to keep farmers abreast of innovations in modern agricultural practice, Agboola noted that artificial processing of fruits and vegetables was hazardous to the human system.
“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 products 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.’’
He said the use of insecticides popularly called “Sniper” and other harmful chemicals as ingredients for pest control was hazardous too.
“Such a practice should be discarded. It can cause pollution or food poisoning,” the university lecturer said.
He, however, urged Nigerians to be wary of such unnaturally prepared food items to avoid health problems such as cancer and other diseases.