A Professor of Agricultural Production Economics, Prof. Adewale Dipeolu has called on the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to begin the certification of food vendors and hawkers in the country, pointing out that this will help to ensure that only hygienic food are being sold to Nigerians.
Prof. Dipeolu made the call on Wednesday while delivering the 66th Inaugural Lecture of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State, titled: “Food Demand Decisions: Not Only The Numerics But The Characteristics”, held at Oluwafemi Balogun Ceremonial Building.
The Inaugural Lecturer charged government agencies such as NAFDAC and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) to intensify efforts at ensuring that food sold in public spaces, or even in supermarkets receive due certification before circulation into the market.
He stated that this will reduce substandard and expired products being sold, stressing that NAFDAC should extend its tentacles into the informal food markets to monitor and ensure adequacy in simple hygiene rules.
Professor Dipeolu maintained that the government should intervene in the sector as it’s been done in other developing countries in training, education and supervision of food vendors to raise the hygiene and profit levels in the informal food sector.
He stressed that it is also important that traceability structures are put in place so that if there is a need for recall, it becomes fairly easy.
The Don argued that the level of hygiene and the safety of the food being sold in the informal sector was questionable but wondered that some consumers are willing to pay a premium for the safety of street foods.
Prof. Dipeolu then called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency encourage vendors to prepare foods in a more hygienic environment by providing them with better facilities to ensure safety.
According to him, the efforts may be preceded by a well-organised public food safety enlightenment programme for consumers and producers, in order to raise awareness level among them.
The Don reiterated that food demand decisions by some Nigerians is being affected by the prices and income levels of consumers, describing this as a dangerous trend at a time the country is battling with the third wave of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Meanwhile the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kolawole Salako who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Bolanle Akeredolu-Ale during his Introductory Address disclosed that Prof. Dipeolu has participated in several research and intervention projects at local and international levels and has served as external examiner at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in some universities.
Last Updated on August 12, 2021 by FUNAAB