Awolowo spoke on Friday in Awka during a training program on “Appropriate Storage Practices for Dried Beans”.
Awolowo, represented by Jackson Arnold, NEPC Southeast Coordinator, urged bean growers, processors and marketers to do so to refrain from doing such a practice.
He said that the use of chemicals for plant protection in the country has become of concern.
According to him, the European Union (EU) has the Imports of chemicals exposed Nigerian dried beans due to the high amount of pesticide residues used in their preservation.
“The amount was found to be in excess of the maximum residue level required. This should be a cause for concern.
“This training is good for farmers, processors and marketers in the dried bean value chain,” he said.
The NEPC Executive Director continued, that many Nigerian farmers have not paid attention to the type of chemicals they use in plant preservation.
“The chemicals they use must not be banned. The point here is that we have to stick to the required amount.
“This will reduce the incidence of European countries and other parts of the world rejecting Nigerian agricultural exports,” he said.
Afolabi Bello, deputy director at NEPC, also urged bean growers and exporters to prioritize quality crop production.
“By producing quality products, we can compete on the international market. If we don’t export, we can’t survive because we need foreign exchange, ”he said.
Dr. Patricia Pessu, Executive Director of the Nigeria Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI), described the training as a good omen for farmers and marketers.
Pessu gave a presentation entitled “Appropriate Use of Dried Beans for Export and Food Safety “
She was represented by Ms. Grace Otitodun, Chief Research Officer of NSPRI, and encouraged participants to make good use of the knowledge gained from the program.
Mr. Nnamdi Onukwuba, Commissioner for Agriculture in Anambra, expressed the need for the greatest possible hygiene in the food processing chain.
“Farmers should strive to produce beans and other legumes organically. There are enough indigenous materials that can repel pests and enable better yields, ”he said.