By Zubairu Idris
Kano: A forum organised by the FAO has urged farmers and food processors to beware of treating agricultural produce with methods that could hamper safety.
In a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day workshop in Kano participants noted that food safety “is an essential path to sustainable food security.
“It can be attained by establishing workable food safety control systems that conform with international food standards.
The workshop focused on the importance of using coded standards and Code of Practice by farmers, processors and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“Farmers and processors should note that not all procedures lead to the production of safe food.
“We are encouraged to beware of treatments of agricultural produce with traditional or local methods that can hamper food safety,” the communiqué stated.
It explained that the coded standards facilitated trade at international, inter-regional, national and local levels whilst safeguarding human and animal health.
The forum stressed that there should be more synergy between regulatory agencies, the private sector and research institutes to continually make inputs into Nigerian food safety codes.
It stressed also the need for continuous awareness creation in farmers, processors, and SMEs on the importance of using the codes.
“Engagement of extension agents to train to farmers will help in promoting the safety codes at the grassroots,’’ the communiqué observed.
The forum observed that the media has a fundamental role to play in the dissemination of the food safety codes in Nigeria.
It stressed that media houses should assist on using their platforms to disseminate awareness on good food safety practices.
Participants at the forum were farmers groups, food processors, manufacturers’ associations, SMEs, government agencies, media practitioners and officials of NAFDAC and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng) /Flowerbudnews