‘Beware of poisonous ponmo,’ State government warns

The government, speaking through the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ronke Sokefun, gave the warning on Thursday, November 5, 2015, in Abeokuta,  the state capital, during a meeting with stakeholders and ‘ponmo’ sellers.

Ponmo (Photo used for illustrative purpose)

The Ogun State Government has warned residents to be on the lookout for poisonous “ponmo”, a popular delicacy made from the hide and skin of cattle.

The government, speaking through the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ronke Sokefun, gave the warning on Thursday, November 5, 2015, in Abeokuta,  the state capital, during a meeting with stakeholders and ponmo sellers.

Sokefun noted that some persons in the state had decided to take advantage of the high demand for the product to sell an industrial variety which had been contaminated with tanning chemicals.

“Tanning chemicals like biocides and fungicides are added along the processing chain to preserve the hides against protein degradation, bacteria and mould growth that would have damaged the hides and skin,” she said.

She said further that the poisonous ponmo popularly known as “imported ponmo” is often brownish black, foul smelling, abnormally thick with layers and ridiculously cheap compared to the normal type.

The Federal Government had attracted outrage in 2014 when it was reported that plans were being made to ban the sale and consumption of ponmo.

The reports were however denied by then Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.

He however noted that Nigeria could make much more money from its leather industry if the consumption of ponmo was reduced.

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