Cowpea growers proffer solutions on killer beans

Cowpea farmers have suggested stringent control measures and mass enlightenment to curb incidence of sudden death from unwholesome food products.
Rising from a stakeholders consultative meeting in Abuja, hundreds of farmers, processors, marketers and transporters under the Cowpea and Beans Association of Nigeria said a national policy and an action plan are required to ensure that its members across the country are properly mobilized and sensitized to appreciative the potent effects of agro-chemicals, some of which have been found to be harmful if not properly applied.
Specifically, they noted that the use of DDVP, known locally as sniper to keep away insects from harvested crops, is not injurious when applied in prescribed quantity and at the appropriate time. They, however, agreed that marketers and middlemen, bent on maximizing profit, have endangered foodstuffs through indiscriminate application of preservatives.
The Association’s National President, Shitu Mohammed Kabir said the assembly was convened to enable members all over the country contribute ideas towards preparing a policy document for transmission to the federal government.
“We are all worried by the sudden deaths from consumption of beans and other staple foods. That is why we have called this stakeholders’ meeting to get inputs from across the country to enable us produce a working document that will influence the emergence of a sustainable national policy,” Shitu explained.
He said the association will embark on a nationwide campaign next year toeducate and enlighten farmers and marketers on the best way to use pesticides on cowpea and similar foods.
Hajiya Fatima Kachallah Shitu, who disclosed that the association was established in 2016, said the group has embarked on membership drive and created a database in all the states to identify and engage all stakeholders on how to sanitize food production process through global best practices for the entire value chain.

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