Lagos State Government has commenced the process of ensuring that the fruits and vegetable sector in the State is sanitised in order to guarantee the safety of consumers.
To this end, the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA), in collaboration with other relevant Ministries and Agencies of Government, has initiated a project to ensure that the handling, packaging, and display of vegetables and fruits are done in accordance with acceptable standards.
Speaking at the inauguration of the committee members recently at Ikeja, the General Manager of LASCOPA, Mrs. Kemi Olugbode said that the essence of the committee is to technically look into ways and means of managing the prevalent issues in the handling and marketing of fruits and vegetables so as to ensure that only healthy products are sold to consumers.
She urged the committee to work assiduously and come up with a strategy on how to effectively address the challenge of the sale of unwholesome fruits and vegetables in the State.
Continuing, she said that a total of 24 fruit-markets have been identified as major locations for the distribution of various fruits and vegetables across the State.
Olugbode implored the members to work in consonance with the Executives of the various Fruits and Vegetables Market Associations in the State to ensure proper sensitisation as well as train traders to adhere to stipulated standards.
In her remarks, Mrs. Mosumola Samuel – a representative of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) as well as a Board Member of LASCOPA – said that consumption of fruits and vegetables are important aspect of our day to day lives as everyone takes fruits and vegetables.
She stated that it is advisable to start from the technical level to look at the areas to be covered and fix the timelines for visiting each area.
Members of the Project technical working committee comprise of representatives of LASCOPA, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Lagos State Market Board and the Ministry of Wealth Creation.
The mandate of the Committee includes addressing the current unhygienic packaging, handling and ripening of fruits with unhealthy substances, lack of proper storage facilities, unhygienic environments for sales and display of the products