The pressure to make quick sales is leading Nigerian fruit sellers to ripen their fruits in unethical and
Fruit sellers in Kano are said to be using insecticides and balm to ripen mangoes and bananas in preparation for the Ramadan fast, according to Daily Trust.
The use of these chemical substances speeds up the ripening process and ensures the fruits are ready to eat within a day.
“If we buy unripe mangoes today and apply balm, they will all ripened the next day and we can take them out for onward sale to interesting buyers. Unlike in the past when you have to wait for some days, with the new method, you can ripen the fruits within just one day,”Habiba Yusuf, a mango seller told Daily Trust.
“Virtually every household in Kumbotso and the villages around has adopted this method and is working excellently. It has become a routine process in our home, as we remove the ripened mangoes, we will put the premature ones which will mature the next day,” she added.
The report was confirmed by another fruit seller, Naja’atu Isa who however said that she always washes the fruits thoroughly before selling them.
“We always wash the fruits properly so that nobody can be harmed and so far, we have not received any complaint from our customers.”
The use of calcium carbide in ripening fruits has also become popular in Nigeria due to the traders’ need for speed in selling their wares.
Eating fruits ripened through the use of chemical agents is dangerous because they pose short-term and long-term health problems for people who consume them.