BANGLADESH: Pineapples poisoned for quick sales

by Ashraf Uddin Sijel, Mymensingh

Unscrupulous farmers in Mymensingh’s Fulbari upazila are treating Ashwini pineapples with chemicals particularly ethopen, which are harmful for human health. According to the district agriculture extension office, the juicy fruits have been grown on around 1300 hectares of land.


Farmers said they could not make profits by selling the fruits during winter and so they were using the chemical for quick ripening and then marketing before the cold season. Ethopen is used for ripening the fruits three days before they are picked from the field. 


Plant growth regulatory chemicals are also being used extensively to increase the size of the fruits. Farmers Rafiqul Islam, Fazlul Haq, Ayub Ali said they knew such chemicals are very harmful to health but they could do nothing. Small sized fruits would not fetch them a fair price. 


Upazila Sanitary Inspector Mahbub Hossain said: “Eating chemicals-treated food is risky and can give rise to cancer and dysfunction of the kidneys and liver.”  Upazila Agriculture Extension Officer Ahsanul Bashar said they had more than once, held workshops and informed farmers why they should avoid using harmful chemicals the fruits, but of no vain.  Upazila Nirbahi Officer Banani Biswas admitted treating fruits with chemicals and said they were regularly taking action against this. 


She also said that she arrested two farmers and fined them through a mobile court a few days ago.


Source: Dhaka Tribune

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