Food Adulteration: Ghanaians don’t value quality, institutions not working-Prof. Fialor

Agribusiness lecturer, Prof. Simon Fialor has suggested the creation of an authority or the empowering of of the Food and Drugs Authority to monitor food along the entire value chain from the farm to the dining table.

He is worried about the continuous trend of food adulteration and the peddling of substandard food for public consumption mostly by market women.

“What is going wrong with our food quality is in two fold; institutional side of things and the consumer side of things”, Prof. Fialor explained.

He says these things continue because the FDA only move when there is a complaint. “There should be people who move about constantly (like the town council people we used to have) taking samples of foods from the market for testing.

He also laid blame at the doorstep of Ghanaian consumers saying “consumers don’t cherish quality. Our definition of quality is how beautifully the thing is presented”. He laments that market women find dubious means to profit off the masses because the Ghanaian consumer is not willing to pay a little extra for quality.

“We did a study on aflatoxins in groundnuts in Ghana and realized the levels of aflatoxins were too high and hence we could not export our groundnuts. We got people to carefully sort the groundnuts for sale at a 5% extra cost. It will amaze you to know that consumers were not ready to buy the well sorted groundnuts at a slightly higher cost”, he said.

He says, though poverty is a real problem, we should endeavour to seek quality and our institutions should also ensure they go out to test what is being sold to the Ghanaian people since food affects every other aspect of our individual and national well being.

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