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We only use carbide to ripen fruits – Association

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Kano – The Kano State Branch of the Nigerian Fruit Sellers Association says its members only use carbide and not insecticides to quicken the ripening of fruits.

Mangoes flood Zuba Fruit Market in Abuja on Friday (13/4/12). There Is Need to Preserve Our Seasonal Fruits. NAN Photo

The Chairman of the association, Malam Muhammad Umar, made this known on Tuesday in Kano.

Umar was reacting to reports alleging that fruit sellers in the state were using insecticides like balm, insect powder killer and other related chemical substances on unripe fruits to hasten ripening within a day.

“We are only using carbide in the ripening of fruits, and before we start using it we had to follow certain process which include the involvement of the Environmental and Occupational Health Unit, Kano State Ministry of Health,” he explained.

Umar stated that the report of the public analysis conducted by the state Ministry of Health on the use of carbide in ripening fruits was approved to be safe.

However, the chairman said that certain recommended measures were being observed in the process.

He said that “the inner portion of the product should never be exposed.

“There should be no direct contact with the product and the carbide and lastly all rotten, damaged products should never be sold to consumers but should be disposed of.

“I assure you that we always do our best to ensure that members follow the recommendations by the state ministry of health,” the chairman said.

According to him, apart from the approval by the state government in 2004, the association received additional approval from the Research Institute of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, on the safe use of the carbide.

He, therefore, called on members of the public to disregard the false reports, adding “harmful insecticides have never been used to ripen fruits and we will never use them’’.

The former Head of the Environmental and Occupation Unit, and Sarkin Tsaftar Kano, Alhaji Ja’afaru Gwarzo, confirmed being the signatory on the approval letter issued to the association.

Gwarzo, who is also a Special Assistant to the state governor on ‘Sanitation Vanguard’, said that “after a thorough investigation on the safety of the carbide in ripening the fruits by an analysis in 2004, we were satisfied with the method but with certain conditions”.

He enumerated the conditions as listed by the chairman of the fruits sellers.

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