An agricultural expert, Dr. John Olaoye, on Saturday urged farmers to ensure that farm produce meant for local consumption met internationally acceptable standards.
Olaoye, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agricultural and Bio-systems Engineering, University of Ilorin, made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
According to him, the standard required by the European Union before allowing some of Nigeria’s agricultural produce into its countries should also be applicable locally.
Olaoye said: “There is nothing wrong if we consume the same produce being exported to other countries.
“If we imbibe this habit, there will be no need of going the extra mile for our produce to be accepted in the countries we wish to export them to.
“This is the way to go, now that the country is refocusing on agriculture as the main stay of the economy in view of the dwindling oil revenue.
“And to achieve this, farmers need to be well-informed and educated on correct standards during application of fertilisers on crops and pesticides on farm produce.”
Olaoye said some of the health challenges in the country might not be unconnected with how what we eat were planted and handled after harvest.
According to him, the way our farm produce is being handled from the point of harvest to the market leaves much to be desired.
The lecturer said consumers should not eat anything that had not met the acceptable minimum intake standards.
He said that health should also be important, after planting, harvesting and conveying the produce to the market.
Olaoye said what was lacking in our agriculture was that there was no test to check whether the produce in the market was safe or not.
According to him, this has to be corrected.