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Consumer and Growers Awareness towards Artificial Ripening of Fruits using Hazardous Chemicals in Some Selected Areas in Bangladesh

M. Rokonuzaman

Abstract

This research was undertaken to explore the consumers and grower’s awareness using hazardous chemicals to ripen fruits. Data were collected from Dinajpur sadar selecting 30 Litchi growers from Dinajpur as well as 30 Mango growers from Rajshahi in Bangladesh following the random sampling procedure. Eighty consumers were selected from Dhaka metropolitan area in Bangladesh for describing consumer awareness. Data were collected from June 3 to August 18, 2013, through using personal interview schedule and focus group discussion. Data revealed that fruits growers use calcium carbide, ethephene and sulphur dioxide fumigants as ripening chemicals. Survey results show that 80 per cent grower read the labels on the package, and 70 per cent of them follow the instruction written on label. Respondents opined that 72 per cent seek help if they fail to understand writing on the label and 74 per cent of them are aware of the toxicity level of chemicals used for fruit ripening. Also, respondents opined that 85 per cent of the respondents do not eat, drink or smoke while spraying and 67 per cent take bath right after spraying, and 83 per cent of them keeps the chemical bottle far from food stuffs, as well as 85 per cent of them does not store food items in the bottle after using chemical. In addition, 66 per cent of the growers do not wash the bottle or sprayer in public reservoir of water eg. pond, canal, river etc., and 55 per cent of them do not attend any training on chemical use for ripening fruits. Besides, survey results regarding consumer awareness show that 65 per cent of the respondents prefer local produced fruits eg. mango, banana, litchi. guava etc., 60 per cent of the consumer knows about ripening immature fruit using toxic chemical, as well as 55 per cent has idea that scrupulous people use hazardous chemical for ripening fruits. In addition, same per cent of the respondents do not eat if they know the fruits actually ripened using chemical, while 24 per cent opined they do not hesitate to eat even after knowing. Almost half proportion (52%) have idea regarding having diseases due to eating ripened fruits. Fifty six per cent consumers do not think law enforcement agent activities are sufficient for discouraging using hazardous chemical ripening fruits. Some 72 per cent respondents think chemical test of fruit is necessary

Keyword: Awareness; Ripening of fruits; Hazardous chemicals;

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