The increasing number of cases due to consumption of unsafe food is becoming an alarming and public concern, yet, it has gained only little attention from the regulators. This is because more concern has been placed on increasing the quantity of food produced to meet the increasing demands of the population (food insufficiency). For instance, ask a hungry person if he or she considers safe food compared to the quantity of food available. We all know the appropriate response. This is the sad situation we have found ourselves in, and this requires an urgent attention to achieve food security.

Besides, speaking to smallholder farmers, you would realize that many of them do not fully understand the consequences of producing unsafe food and they mix up food quality issues (taste, appearance, etc.) with food safety issues. So, I conclude that the awareness at farm level is still low and it needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Imagine eating fresh vegetables and fruits that have been harvested from a clean farm, having the belief that they are healthy and safe for consumption, without knowing that the farmer sprayed a synthetic chemical seven (7) days ago, with post harvest interval (PHI) of 14 days (such produce though in appearance and taste are considered "healthy", but unwholesome due to chemical residues). Aside from chemical contamination, products can be contaminated with biohazard (microorganisms, bacteria, virus or toxins) that can pose a threat to the health of the consumers.

This is a very important issue that needs to be raised at the farm level because when food safety is compromised, it is very difficult for it to be reversed. Therefore, we need to identify the major sources of hazards or contamination for the different value chain, develop strategies to minimize them below the threshold level, and create more awareness amongst farmers and other key value actors to ensure that food being produced is safe. Lastly, we need to develop early warning detection strategies.

In conclusion, developing robust preventive measures will go a long way to reduce the issue of food safety especially in developing countries. As a people, eating good and safe food is a human right. Therefore, we should no longer be deprived of our right to have access to safe and healthy food at all times. Let food be our medicine!