The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD-VCDP) says it is working hard to ensure the usage of standard weight measurement on food items in all markets in Ebonyi.
Mr Sunday Ituma, IFAD-VCDP State Programme Coordinator, disclosed on Thursday in Abakiliki that the essence was to build on the success recorded in such usage for the sale of rice in the state.
Ituma said that with the adoption of the standard weight measurement by rice millers, the organisation would intensify efforts to replicate such usage on other food items, such as beans and garri, among others, in all the markets in Ebonyi.
“We will also sustain such success on rice in Abakaliki by shifting attention to rice millers at Onueke and Afikpo towns, among other towns.
“Nigeria’s neighbours adopt the standard weight measurement in the sale of food items, including ‘suya’ meat, so there is no reason it should not be adopted in Nigeria.
“The practice will enable buyers to determine the exact quantity of what they are buying and this will be beneficial to both the buyer and seller,” Ituma said.
He said that the introduction of standard weight measurement and successes recorded did not come easy because traders were used to bushels as standard scale of measurement.
“A standard bushel is supposed to contain 100 milk cups of measurement but overtime, dishonest people started to alter the bushels to short-change buyers,” he said.
Ituma said that IFAD-VCDP met with resistance while consulting with the rice millers on the usage of the standard measurement.
“In 2017, we donated 15 standard measurement scales to the millers as a demonstration with the understanding that they will adopt its usage.
“Also, in collaboration with the state Ministry of Agriculture and Matural Resources, we scheduled that the implementation of the measure would commence in March 2017 but this failed due to change in the ministry’s leadership,” Ituma said.
He said that they were left with no option than to commence the implementation of the law on the usage of standard weight measurement.
“We informed the rice millers of the law which stipulates fines and terms of imprisonment for people who fail to adopt the standard weight measurement in selling rice.
“We discovered that most of them were not aware of the law but with effective collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders, the measure was finally implemented by the rice millers,’’ he said.