Lagos moves to sanitise red meat value chain
Lagos State Government has inaugurated what it termed-a three-prong strategy to sanitise the red meat value chain, ensure consumption of healthy and wholesome red meat in the state.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal who kicked off the pilot scheme Ita Faji Market in Lagos Island, said the state is committed to cleansing the system by embarking on the three-step strategy of ATM-Abattoir, Transportation, and Market.
He said the strategy was in conformity with Section 4 of the Cap M3 Meat Inspection Law of Lagos State and the fourth Schedule (Regulation 33) of the Law, adding that it would not only ensure the consumption of wholesome meat, but it would also facilitate export to other countries.
Lawal explained: “The strategy is to guarantee the safety and health of the populace by ensuring that only certified animals are slaughtered and wholesome beef is available in our markets. This will also boost the international recognition of beef from the state, thus opening up an export portal, which will be a source of foreign exchange to the government,” the Commissioner said.
He wondered why some African countries like Botswana, Namibia, Ethiopia, and Kenya could export meat to Europe, Saudi Arabia and other countries, while Nigeria, a naturally endowed country, could not achieve the feat.
“Botswana alone exports about 9,000 tons of meat to Europe and 10,000 tons to Saudi Arabia. Botswana alone enjoys unlimited preferential market access to the European Union, competing with meat exporting countries like Brazil. So, rather than only producing meat for local consumption, Botswana exports meat that is hygienically tested and proven to meet the European market standard.
“In the same vein, Namibia also exports meats to about 18 European countries and China. Its meat export industry is quite lucrative and a sure revenue source for the country. The question is how is our brother African countries are able to do this, while naturally endowed and big country like Nigeria is not able to do this?
“The answer is solely because of the reforms they have been able to carry out in their red meat value chains, which enable their red meat to meet the international standard,” he said.
He stressed that series of engagements were held with critical stakeholders like the Butchers Association in the state, Market women and men, concessionaires and franchises, among others whose support and cooperation are germane to the successful implementation of the reform exercise in order to ensure the success of these reforms.