(Business in Cameroon) - In Cameroon, the Ministry of Agriculture has ordered the purchase of rapid detection kits to weed out traders using phytosanitary products to ripen or make farm products look fresh. This was announced by Agriculture Minister Gabriel Mbairobe during the 20th extraordinary session of the national Registration Commission of Phytosanitary Products, which he presided.
During the meeting, the official spoke out against the misuse of products such as ethephon, and traders’ use of chemicals such as formaldehyde to ripen certain farm products. "These misuses are contrary to the provisions of the law of April 21, 2003, on phytosanitary protection, and endanger the health of the population," he said.
He, therefore, instructed the Ministry of Agriculture’s directorate in charge of the assessment of the quality of farm products to organize an awareness campaign targeting the distributors of phytosanitary products. He also instructed checks in markets using the rapid detection kits.
According to reliable sources, at the same time the meeting was being held, inspection teams from the Ministry of Commerce delegation in the Centre Region seized a shipment of plantain artificially ripened with formaldehyde.
The resurgence of that artificial ripening phenomenon recently prompted Gabon to instruct an enhanced control of the fruit and vegetables crossing its border from Cameroon.