The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development,Audu Ogbeh, yesterday,described food eaten by most Nigerians as poison.
He also disclosed that over boiling of cow meat by Nigerians was saving them from being infected by Tuberculosis from consumption of beaf.
The minister insisted that many Nigerians eat poison on daily basis in the process of feeding.
He spoke at a one-day Public Hearing on Food Security Bills, organized by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.
According to him, Poisonous intake of Nigerians from some food items on daily basis arose from wrong habit of processing and preserving them.
He specifically gave example of moimoi prepared in cellophane locally known as nylon, as poisonous which according to him, contain a large dosage of dioxins that are naturally impotent in leaves when used to package the delicacy.
He also pointed out that consumption of sachet ( pure ) water exposed to sun at over 28 degree centigrade was poisonous which he noted usually resulted to many cases of kidney and liver failures amongst Nigerians.
He said but for the practice of over boiling meat, many Nigerians would have been infected by Tuberculosis from consumption of cow meat.
“Many of the cows being moved from one place to the other by herdsmen, are already infected with tuberculosis but our practice of boiling meat very well here has been the saving grace from people being infected with the deadly disease”, he said.
Smuggled frozen chicken preserved with formalin which is also used for preservation of dead bodies, according to the minister , have been potent poison being consumed by Nigerians with attendant serious health challenges in the land.
He also cited example of beans and grains preservation with over dosage of pesticides by farmers and sellers as another dangerous food poison that had killed many Nigerians and still killing unsuspecting buyers and consumers.
Wrong application of fertilizer by farmers on their farm land , the minister noted, has also led to poisonous consumption of food items.
“Unknowingly to many of the farmers, there is Specific fertilizer for specific crops in specific state in line with soil texture”, he explained.
He commended the Senate committee for working on the bills i.e, Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service Bill 2016, Food Security Bill 2016 and Nigerian Institute of Soil Science Bill 2016, which according to him, would help in food security in the country and curbing production of poisonous foods, saying ” Rejection of Nigerian farm produce abroad is embarrassing .
He assured Nigerians that the problem of farmers / Fulani herdsmen would soon be over as the Ministry would soon come up with acceptable policy on grazing reserves.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki in his speech at the occasion, said the need for food security in the country and vibrant Agricultural sector for the needed diversification of the Nation’s economy , moved the Senate into introducing the bills and working on them.
— OkoroChukwu IkeChukwu ( Correspondent)